Tag Archive for 'la river'

Embracing the Urban-Nature Ethic

Photo retrieved from: www.counterpunch.org

“The EPA in July 2010 declared the LA River navigable, giving it the full protection of the Clean Water Act.

“This is a watershed as important as any other,” said the EPA’s Lisa Jackson, as she stood in front of Compton Creek, an almost destroyed tributary to the LA River. “So we are going to build a federal partnership to empower communities like yours … We want the LA River to demonstrate how urban waterways across the country can serve as assets in building stronger neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs.”

Now the entire 834-square-mile LA River watershed might be given the attention it deserves after nearly a century of neglect and abuse. While a place like Ballona Wetlands, which is one of the most intact wetlands in the area, has long been given the respect it rightly deserve — fending off development but not always coming out victorious — the LA River is primed for revival.


In 2004 voters in Los Angeles passed Proposition O, which authorized the City of LA to issue a series of general obligation bonds of up to $500 million for clean water projects in the city. The main goal of the measure was to help the City meet clean water requirements known as TMDLs (Trash Total Maximum Daily Load), which were set by originally passed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. As a result, there have been many numerous public works projects funded and more to come.”

Read more: Counter Punch


Los Angeles Learns To Love Its River

Photo retrieved from: www.bbc.co.uk

“In the 1930s two big floods across Los Angeles’ wide area of wetlands forced the government to act. The Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with flood control.

Much of the river is used as a giant storm drain

It took 30 years to complete, but they concreted, dammed, drained and guided the river from the mountains to Long Beach and to the ocean.

Rail and road links were built alongside it, and the security the channel provided led to the rapid development and sprawling growth LA has seen in the last 80 years.

It doesn’t rain much in Southern California, but when it does the trickle in the bottom of the canal becomes a flood and the water almost overflows as rainwater rushes off the city streets, covered as they are in tarmac and concrete, and races to the sea.

There were just a few stretches where the water table was too high for the concrete to survive. In these dirt-bottomed sections wildlife thrives, and it starts to look like a real river.”

Read more: BBC