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Schiff Wants L.A. River to Remain an Urban Waterway

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) describes why the Los Angeles River should continue with renewal projects.

Rep. Adam Schiff released this op-ed Thursday. It originally appeared on the Los Feliz Ledger:

In the past, many viewed the Los Angeles River as little more than a concrete channel winding its way through our backyards, often dry and ignored. But we have now come to recognize that the river’s 32-mile journey through the heart of Los Angeles provides us with an excellent opportunity to unite our communities around a new and exciting waterway. In fact, the river is an asset with the power to connect hundreds of thousands of Angelinos. 

In 2007, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan breathed new life into the L.A. River. Under the plan, a renewed River would be a continuous, functioning ecosystem that supports native fish, bird and mammal populations, treats storm water runoff and establishes an interconnected network of parks and trails for community residents to enjoy. A renewed river would also create much-needed jobs through the work associated with the project, provide for a more sustainable L.A., and serve as a cultural destination point.

In April 2010, the Dept. of Interior established the “America’s Great Outdoors” program, to reconnect Americans with nature by leveraging the support of the federal government and working with the private sector, nonprofit organizations, communities and states. The goal of the program is to preserve open space, wildlife, and historic and cultural resources, and to enhance neighborhood parks through public-private partnerships and locally supported conservation strategies.

The L.A. River is a perfect choice for this innovative initiative. I was proud to work with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard in requesting that the Interior Department designate the L.A. River as a part of this program, and was delighted when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar came to our community to inaugurate the L.A. River into the program.

My colleague and I are already working hard on the next step—a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study—and have succeeded in obtaining some preliminary funding to begin the effort. Once concluded, Congress must approve the project recommendation before it can proceed to the construction phase.

With your input and support, I will work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to implement these recommendations and to secure the necessary funds to make this exciting vision a reality. 

A renewed and reborn Los Angeles River will be a vital component of our community. While the final results will take some time, our planning and persistence will pay off, and communities and residents once divided by the concrete channel will be united by a reborn L.A. river—a true urban waterway.

Representative Adam Schiff serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Susan R May 04, 2012 at 12:48 AM
How about peace and quiet for those that live along the river? How about clean air? The train pollution and train noise from Taylor yard must stop. http://www.lametrolinkpollution.com
Connie Rohman May 04, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I totally support Adam Schiff's efforts on behalf of the LA River. I believe it is very important to have green space in urban areas, and the LA River Revitalization plan is brilliant. Keep it going!
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson May 05, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I had the opportunity to paddle the Los Angeles River last year in the 2+ mile stretch near Balboa Park that is shown in the photo above. http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/articles/travelogue-paddling-the-los-angeles-river#photo-7408103 It was green. It was peaceful. It was quiet. We saw cormorants, snowy egrets, green night herons, ducks, red-tailed hawks, and a great blue heron. The Audubon Society supports the Paddle the Los Angeles River program; the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan would include wild life habitats. Quality of life, including improved air quality and reduced noise pollution, would be greatly enhanced. This project won't happen overnight but Northeast Los Angeles will be utterly transformed when it is finished.
Susan R May 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Kim, you said the magic words, green, peaceful, QUIET. Quality of life, including improved air quality and reduced noise pollution, would be greatly enhanced. This project won't happen overnight but Northeast Los Angeles will be utterly transformed when it is finished. Kim, that is what I want for Elysian Valley and Cypress Park residents. But the city councilmembers Ed Reyes and Garcetti have refused to listen. We want peace and quiet from the train horns and the train pollution. Maybe Kim, you can interview them and ask them why they are refused to do anything about it all these 12 years they were in office. They need to care about those that live along the river and their quality of life.
Susan R May 06, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Councilmember Eric Garcetti and Ed Reyes are termed out office so they will leave office having done nothing.

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