LA County's proposed updated LA River Master Plan is not what some of us had thought it would be. A few years ago, we heard talk of returning the river to a more natural state, but it seems that the County is doubling down on mistakes made decades ago before we ostensibly knew what we know now. We now know that because of our indifference to and ignorance of the natural environment, we have created the climate crisis, which will turn 500-year floods into much more common events. And we now know that we must work to create permeable surfaces that capture rainfall and water, and instead of rushing all that river water out to the ocean, provide opportunities for some of it to be absorbed into the soil—hard to do if the walls and bottom of the river are concrete. And we now know that improvements can have unintended (or intended) consequences, driving out some of those who live near the river.
—Lisa Hart, NCSA steering board member
For others' thoughts on the proposal, check out:
- VerdeXchange VX 2021 Marketmakers' Conference
- EcoJustice Radio—LA River Revitalization: The Story of Master Plan Gone Awry
- NCSA meeting 2021 04-11—Our New Climate Emergency Mobilization Office, and What's Up with the LA River?
- Center for Biological Diversity comment letter
The plan begs the question, who/what is it designed to serve?
And Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) created this advocacy toolkit, which includes this community sign-on letter that we asked organizations to sign. Thank you to the East Hollywood and Silver Lake Neighborhood Councils, which did!
The County Department of Public Works expects to have a final draft ready for review early 2022. Once that report is out, the County supervisors will vote on its approval.
And are you wondering what the City of Los Angeles's take on this is? So are we.
Updated May 14, 2021
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