President’s 2013 budget partially funds critical River Study project

About a hundred attended the City of L.A.'s River Update event Thursday evening. (Jim Burns)

“The River Study is moving. For the first time, it made it to the President’s budget,” Carol Armstrong said to a group of about 100 participants at the River Update event, held this evening at the L.A. River School.

Armstrong, the point person for the city’s many river projects, went on to explain how Councilmember Ed Reyes, Nancy Steele of the Council for Watershed Health, Lewis MacAdams of Friends of the Los Angeles River and others went to Washington to talk to legislators about the important of funding the  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study. The study is key to virtually all future plans to restore the river to a more natural state.  Begun in 2006 with the city as the local partner, it looks at the 10-mile stretch of soft bottom that stretches from Glendale Narrows, plus Headworks Reservoir in Burbank, through downtown to First Street. This area, part of which is across from Griffith Park, is the most popular with fly fishers looking to hook carp. Besides having a soft bottom – as opposed to concrete – it contains what the Corps calls “ecological value” and has the most water in it year around.

Although only $100,000 will come from the 2013 federal budget, the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power contributed $1 million, as did the leadership of the Army Corps, committing $350,000. When completed in 2013, the study will have cost almost $10 million.

In 1995, political restoration activities began with the county, which led to the City Council’s approval of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan in May, 2007, created with $3 million from the Department of Water and Power’s deep coffers. The plan contains many items, including revitalizing the river, greening adjacent neighborhoods and creating value through economic opportunities

As Josephine Axt, the Army Corps lead planner told the audience, don’t expect any real result until June, 2013. Still, the funding was good news for river advocates.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

4 thoughts on “President’s 2013 budget partially funds critical River Study project”

  1. Jim,

    I suppose a hundred advocates to show up is a very good thing, but out of a population that is affected by the River that may be hundreds of thousands? But it sounds like the plan is inching toward fruition, that’s hopeful.


    1. Exactly, Gregg. It seems like a only handful of people ever show up to these events, but I guess it’s the “right” handful, if you’re talking politics. I’m still not convinced that most of the population here could find the river, even it they had to. And that’s sad.

      I’d been working on a story about alternative funding for this study, since the feds are broke, and the study is absolutely critical to restoring the river. The few people I’d contacted were not forthcoming about it (alternative funding), but it just makes sense that the Department of Water and Power would give some funding.

      Hey, catching any carp, lately? Hope that you’re doing well! — Jim

  2. Hi again Jim,

    Well, I really hope your River gets the attention it deserves. That portions of it remain viable as a fishery is testimony to it’s ability to become so much more with help. The 17th. I fell from my ramp taking stuff out to the van on a carp trip and seriously broke my left leg in two places. Not knowing it i fished all day and did not discover the break until night while moving the leg in a final transfer. Hot and swollen, cleaned my gear the next morning and then went to the ER. After a week i’m tying flies again though not with the standing chair I normally use and doing wimpy work outs. Got a rented chair that extends my leg out. Takes getting used to. Maybe new cast in 2 weeks below the knee, and I may push a carp trip though I’m supposed to be very careful. But I’m getting by, so many have it worse then and now. Too much information!

    I caught no carp but had chances, about a dozen swam by close in very dirty water. Want to go out again now!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.