When I see the Mississippi River a-flowin' by my transmissionless van, I picture a glorious future for tourism in St. Louis, because it makes me think of the Colorado River. A couple million years ago, the Colorado River tweren't nothin' much, just a wide ribbon of water flowing through the Arizona desert — kinda like the Mississippi and St. Louis currently, only we have fewer cacti and more barges. But now, now that same Colorado River sits at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and people the world over flock to see it and gawk. That could be St. Louis at the bottom of a big famous canyon — except we may not have a few million years to let the Mississip' do its thing. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Wade Davis discover in the OMNIMAX film, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, no river is guaranteed a future. Pollution and over-development threaten most of the world's waterways — we could be facing a water crisis of global proportions by 2050, according to a U.N. study. Kennedy and Davis and their respective daughters (Kick and Tara) journey down the Colorado by raft (with a soundtrack by Dave Matthews Band) to see the damage wrought and learn how the river can be saved for future generations. Grand Canyon Adventure screens daily at the Saint Louis Science Center OMNIMAX theater (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org) through Thursday, July 2. Tickets are $7 to $8.
Jan. 22-Oct. 29, 2009