A $1.3 billion plan to restore a portion of the Los Angeles River continues to clear hurdles as it makes it way to Congress for final approval. Last week, the Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, signed off on the plan, pushing the project to the next level of review and closer to realization. This follows last July's major milestone in which Mayor Garcetti and local river organizations went to Washington, D.C. to present the plan to the Army Corps' Civil Works Review Board. The plan now makes its way to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Jo-Ellen Darcy, and upon review and approval, will go to Congress early next year for the authorization of funds to begin construction.
From the press release:
This approval is a critical step toward moving the project forward to Congress for authorization and appropriation of funding. "Thanks to our partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we have reached a watershed moment for a riparian revival in Los Angeles," said Mayor Garcetti. "This plan represents more than ten years of hard work and unprecedented collaboration and gives us the opportunity to transform both the river and our city." "We and our partners have put tremendous effort into developing and moving forward a plan that would improve the L.A. River ecosystem in a constrained funding environment," said Col. Kirk Gibbs. "Our number one priority of the plan is to restore the river's ecosystem while preserving the flood protection that is provided by the existing channel system." The Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration project proposes restoration measures in and along an 11-mile stretch of the river to reestablish scarce riparian strand and freshwater marsh and aquatic habitat, while maintaining existing levels of flood risk management. Habitat connections will be reestablished at major tributaries within the river's historic floodplain, and to regional habitat zones of the Santa Monica, San Gabriel, and Verdugo mountains. The plan will restore approximately 719 acres by widening the river in key areas by terracing and restructuring channel banks to support vegetation, creating side channels and off-channel marsh, daylighting small streams, and removing invasive vegetation. Associated recreation features include trails, vista points, educational amenities, and pedestrian bridges. To learn more about the L.A. River's valuable role in our city's natural ecosystem, history and future, watch this video.