Rare Sight: Colorado River Reaches Gulf: Photos

Aerial photos of the Colorado River pulse flow reaching the Gulf of California.

For the first time in decades, freshwater from the Colorado River has flowed into the Gulf of California. The water comes from an international agreement to restore habitat for the plants and animals that once thrived in the river's delta.

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An incoming high tide carved channels through salty mud before connecting with the Colorado River.

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Branching channels form as the high tide flows north toward incoming Colorado River.

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A sandbar blocked the river's route to the sea for several days. The Colorado River is on the right side of the photograph.

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High tides on May 15 surged through an artificial channel in a sandbar, forging a link between the river and the Sea of Cortez, according to scientists monitoring the flood.

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More freshwater arrived in the Colorado River delta than has been seen here in decades. In this image, the river is flowing from the upper left.

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Cottonwood (left) and willow (right) seedlings have sprouted naturally in restoration sites fed by the Colorado River's artificial flood.

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