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Our Land: Rio Grande Habitat Restoration

June 14, 2019 – It’s scary when rivers crest above their banks or burst their levees. In the Midwest, rising river waters have been dangerous for boaters and swimmers and caused millions in property damage as they’ve inundated homes along the Mississippi and other rivers.

But springtime flooding is also a natural part of a river’s cycle. On the Rio Grande, spring floods help nurture the cottonwood bosque, allow fish to spawn and benefit all sorts of other species—including humans.

This year, the Rio Grande is expected to keep running higher than it has in recent years, all the way through the month of June. That’s a stark contrast to years past, including just last spring.

Correspondent Laura Paskus takes us to the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, and to a habitat restoration site near Socorro, where engineers are trying to turn back the clock on river management concepts as they look toward the future of water in the Southwest.

Ann Demint, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation engineer
Chris Torres, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation acting field division manager