(AP) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is calling for more manmade floods to be released from the Glen Canyon Dam into the Colorado River.
The flooding will build up sandbars and beaches in the Grand Canyon to protect wildlife and keep archaeological sites from eroding.
Salazar announced this week that the department would head up an effort to determine when and how high flow experiments should be conducted.
Environmentalists say the high flows are meaningless without a plan for more regular flows from Glen Canyon Dam.
The experiments would be similar to one in 2008 that sent torrents of water from the dam on the Arizona-Utah line to mimic natural flooding. But the results were short-lived, as newly built-up sandbars eroded within months.
©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Explore further: UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity