Congratulations: River Expeditions, Elmer Avenue, and more!

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

Recent recognition for some of Los Angeles’ creek freak heroes:

Click to go to the L.A. River Expeditions website where you can sign up for future expeditions

> The American Canoe Association (ACA) has awarded its annual Green Paddle Award to George Wolfe and L.A. River Expeditions. George was the leader of the 2008 boating expedition down the Los Angeles River that proved critical in securing federal Clean Water Act protections.  The national non-profit ACA in its press release stated:

“The American Canoe Association is extremely proud to recognize George and L.A. River Expeditions for their significant accomplishments,” says ACA Chief Operating Officer Chris Stec. “They have set a great example for the nation.”

Elmer Avenue Project - photo by LASGRWC

> The California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) presented its Outstanding Stormwater BMP [Best Management Practice] Implementation Project award to the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council for its Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Demonstration project. Elmer Avenue is an excellent project – the kind that we creek freaks like to go and visit in the rain!! CASQA also recognized Santa Monica’s Bicknell Avenue green street, the city of Los Angeles’ Stormwater Public Education Program (which also received recognition from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies), and others. Read the full CASQA awards recap here.

Congratulations to George, the Watershed Council, and the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles!

News and Events – 22 August 2010

August 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

RECENT NEWS 

> The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has a new video (above) 0n Stormwater Runoff 101, featuring shots of the Elmer Avenue project profiled here earlier. The shots of the trash boom on Ballona Creek are pretty scary! Overall it’s an excellent video, though I wish they didn’t call storm drains “sewers.” (Thanks to In the Watershed

>Last Wednesday, August 18th, 2010, KCRW 89.9fm radio’s Which Way L.A.? ran an episode entitled Navigating the Los Angeles River. The program features Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes and George Wolfe of river expedition fame. The radio program is available for online listening here. Also in Shipping News: LAist reports about a petition floated for boating access to the river: register your name on the online petition here

Click on image to go to Save Los Angeles River Open Space for larger images.

> See handsome new  renderings of the L.A. River Natural Park  at the Save L.A. River Open Space website. It’s a watershed park proposed for the site currently known as Studio City Golf and Tennis. See creek freak’s backgrounders on this struggle here and here

> The L.A. Times reported yesterday that endangered steelhead remain endangered. This is good news: steelhead, an anadromous fish once abundant in local rivers and creeks, will remain protected by the federal Endangered Species Act. Recommended reading: creek freak’s coverage of Fish in the L.A. River.

> Tiny new feature: we’ve added a Tweet button for posting our articles to Twitter. The button now appears at the bottom of each post.  Follow us at Twitter at @LACreekFreak

UPCOMING EVENTS 

> Jenny Price’s Hidden L.A. Los Angeles River Tours are coming up August 29th, September 4th, September 12th, and September 26th. Keep up with them by liking them at their Facebook page. You may get to actually drive in the river!

> Coastal Cleanup Day – takes place Saturday September 25th 2010. The event includeslots of clean-ups on local creeks and rivers . 

CicLAvia route for walking and biking on car-free streets in October

> CicLAvia – pronounced “seek-law-vee-uh” – a car-free 7.5-mile open streets festival taking place on October 10th 2010 (that’s 10-10-10) – will include the historic Gothic-Revival 1931 4th Street Bridge. Read more about CicLAvia here and more about the 4th Street Bridge on their list of 10 historic buildings along the 10-10-10 route. Self-promotion confession – Creek Freak Joe Linton is way-involved in this not-especially river-related effort – and has been writing various top 10 lists at the CicLAvia site.

Kayak News: KABC vid and Reyes Motion

August 11, 2010 § 6 Comments

Click to watch the full video at KABC website!

George Wolfe of L.A. River Expeditions is at it again. KABC TV channel 4 kayaked the Sepulveda Basin with him and posted this video. (Sorry I couldn’t quite get it to embed – so click on image or link to view.)

In other L.A. River kayaking news, Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes has introduced a council motion to get more folks boating on our navigable river. Below is an excerpt from Reyes’ August 10 2010 press release.

« Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 16 July 2010

July 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

RECENT NEWS

> Hector Tobar has an excellent piece in today’s L.A. Times, mostly about how Heather Wylie spurred on George Wolfe to lead the 2008 L.A. River expedition. It’s entitled A gamble on the river pays off and here’s a short excerpt, featuring yours truly:

Without Wylie and that law-defying boat trip, it might not have happened.

As proof that the river is indeed navigable, the EPA cited in its official report the July 2008 Los Angeles River expedition organized by Wylie, George Wolfe and others.

“The federal government is saying this is a real river,” said Joe Linton, a writer and activist who was also on the expedition. “I say that every day. But it’s good to be backed up by officialdom. It gives the river a certain legitimacy.”

The Los Angeles River has always been a real river. The city was founded on its banks and today — in spite of its concrete walls — it’s still the natural object at the center of L.A.’s existence.

Read the full article here. Also read more L.A. Creek Freak background on the 2008 kayak expedition and Heather Wylie. Updated: Credit too to LAist, which is the site that ran Wylie photos that got her in trouble with her higher-ups at the Army Corps of Engineers.

> The Next American City covers river revival as performance art, focusing on the leading roles played by Lewis MacAdams, poet and founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River. Also read a selection from MacAdam’s recent poetry book here.

Rending of future wetlands restortation at the Piggyback Yards. Image from piggybackyard.org

> For more coverage of the Piggyback Yards proposals, in addition to Creek Freek’s post earlier today, check out Piya Sinha-Roy’s article and lots of material and images at the “PBy” site!

UPCOMING EVENTS

> Act quick to get in on this Sunday’s Hidden L.A. River tour. Details at our post earlier this week.

Rock the Boat … Rocks!

December 24, 2009 § 6 Comments

In early December, I had the pleasure of seeing a sneak peak screening of a rough cut of the movie Rock the Boat. It’s a documentary about the 2008 kayak trip down the Los Angeles River. The expedition was organized by George Wolfe of the Lala Times. The trip is the subject of three of the earliest blog posts at L.A. Creek Freak and is prominent in our so-far five-part series On Nexus and Navigability. (Extra credit for finding all 8 separate links in that sentence!)

Rock the Boat is directed and produced by Thea Mercouffer. The December screening featured a ~30-minute long rough cut of what is intended to be a feature-length documentary. It’s a treat to see a well-paced film, featuring lots of footage of the river – from soft-bottom natural areas to concrete channel. The documentary also features lots of context given by experts including Andy Lipkis, Ramona Marks, Melanie Winter, Heather Wylie and even me.

The folks working on the film are looking for donations to see it through to completion. If you’ve got money to spare, consider making a donation. For folks interested in checking out the documentary, see the preview above and keep your RSS tuned to LA Creek Freak. I am hoping to put together a public screening – with admission for a modest donation – hopefully in January.

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