"For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime.
The river starts in the Rocky Mountains, and for more than 1,400 miles, it wends its way south. Along the way it's dammed and diverted dozens of times, to cities and fields all over the American West. Tens of millions of people depend on the river as a water source.
Rowan Jacobsen, shown here at the end of his paddle-boarding trip down the Colorado River delta, writes about food and the environment. His books include A Geography of Oysters, Fruitless Fall and Shadows on the Gulf.
By the time the Colorado River reaches the U.S.-Mexico border, only 10 percent of it is left. At that point, it hits the Morelos Dam, and the river dies: It's diverted a final time into Mexican farmland."