What Kind Of Magic Happens When A River Returns To The Sea?

It's hard-working, much-beloved, and much-abused. It hasn't even reached the sea for half a century. Until this year.

100 years ago, the Colorado River reached the sea at a 3,000-square-mile lush, green delta in the desert, home to hundreds of thousands of birds, animals, fish, and people too. After a visit to the delta in 1922, Aldo Leopold wrote, "... the river was nowhere and everywhere," for he "could not decide which of a hundred green lagoons offered the most pleasant and least speedy path to the Gulf."


But for the last 50 years, that delta has been a salty wasteland, almost devoid of life.

People in the U.S. and Mexico are cooperating on Minute 319, an agreement that is working to restore a regular "base flow." In spring 2014, they created a one-time pulse of water to mimic springtime floods. In this giant moment in water history, you can see the blue arms of the river flowing down across the parched delta to meet the dendritic tidal channels of the sea for the first time in years.

For most young people in towns along the usually dry riverbed, the flow was a thing of wonder.

These kids live in the small community of San Luis Rio, Colorado, a town named for a river most of them have never seen.

People working on river restoration say that sending even just 1% of the river's annual flow downstream can mean restoring 2,300 acres of forest and marsh alonga 70-mile stretch of river.

A flowing river is good for tourism, recreational hunting, sport and commercial fisheries, not to mention families ...

and happy kids.

Scientists are watching reptiles, fish, birds, plants, and other wildlife to see how they respond to the water in the desert.

Over eight weeks, about 34 billion gallons of water flowed from Morelos Dam downstream toward the sea. People had worked for months to clear invasive trees (especially tamarisks) and to plant seedlings of cottonwoods and desert willows, hoping they'd take root in the spring flood.

As you've probably heard, the Colorado region is baking in the worst drought in decades, making it even more amazing that people of two nations agreed to set aside billions of gallons of water to bring a river back to life.

May it happen again next year.

Watch the original video "Renewal," narrated by Robert Redford, about the river's return in the spring of 2014.

And definitely don't miss Will Ferrell's take on the situation. You can read Philip L. Fradkin's "A River No More" for the backstory.

Heroes
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

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via Hollie Bellew-Shaw / Facebook

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"You could think of a person with autism as having an imbalanced set of senses," Stephen Shore, assistant professor in the School of Education at Adelphi University, told Web MD.

"Some senses may be turned up too high and some turned down too low. As a result, the data that comes in tends to be distorted, and it's very hard to perceive a person's environment accurately," Shore continued.

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A new Harriet Tubman statue sculpted by Emmy and Academy award-winner Wesley Wofford has been revealed, and its symbolism is moving to say the least.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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