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PAGE, Ariz. -- Authorities have launched an experiment aimed at building beaches and sandbars on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened the river outlet tubes at noon Monday. The peak flow will last into Tuesday, and the river will run high for five days.

The heavy rush of water down the river at Glen Canyon Dam is part of a government program to restore the Grand Canyon's ecosystem.

The goal is to wash millions of tons of sediment downstream to create beaches and improve habitat for plants and animals, and protect archaeological sites.

It's the fourth experimental flush since 1996.

Associated Press,

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