October 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
As the heat of summer slowly (hopefully) begins to wind down, so too has the second season of the pioneering L.A. River kayak and canoe excursions. The final group dropped into the River this past Sunday, an undoubtedly leisurely paddle between willows and sycamores, shopping carts and plastic bags. The 2012 installment hosted approximately 2,000 participants, an impressive increase from 2011, when the count for the pilot program was 260. The number of outfits operating on the River has also doubled and now includes Paddle the L.A. River (organized by L.A. Conservation Corps, MRCA, The River Project, FoLAR and Urban Semillas) and L.A. River Expeditions (organized by George Wolfe and the San Joaquin River Stewardship Program). I had the pleasure of paddling with both groups as a guest educator (thanks to Melanie Winter and George Wolfe for getting me out there!), a journey every Angeleno within reach of a buoyant non-motorized vessel should be able to experience at least once. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment is having a special meeting Saturday, March 19th with guest speaker Heather Wylie talking about her participation in the Los Angeles River kayaking trip that proved its navigability. Creek Freak blogger Joe Linton was also part of that excursion.
Here’s the deet’s:
WHEN: Saturday, March 19th, 2PM
WHERE: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Spurling Hall Community Room, 24901 Orchard Village Rd. Valencia, CA 91355
Refreshments will be served – Regular Business meeting to follow speaker
More info: http://www.scope.org 661 255-6899
August 9, 2010 § 8 Comments
Here at L.A. Creek Freak, we’re very excited about the EPA’s determination that the Los Angeles River is navigable and is protected fully under the Clean Water Act. It’s a welcome decision, strongly supported by the river’s past, present, and planned future. The determination got the L.A. Times out kayaking the river (watch their excellent video!) and sparked off mayoral, journalistic, and advocate discussions of the river’s bright future.
But… the whole navigability test is… unfortunately… a bit limited.
Is navigability the right test for what streams deserve federal Clean Water Act (CWA) protection? Is the Clean Water Act all we need to restore rivers, creeks, and watersheds? Does a narrow focus on improving water quality get us to a goal of healthy creek and stream ecosystems?
July 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
> From 3pm to 5pm this Thursday July 15th 2010 join the Village Gardeners and TreePeople to trim and mulch native vegetation on the L.A. River in Sherman Oaks. Event details here.
> Watch the film about the 2008 Kayak expedition that proved that the L.A. River is navigable today! Rock the Boat screens this Friday July 16th 2010 at the Audbon Center at Debs Park. That’s at 4700 Griffin Avenue in Highland Park, easy walk from the Southwest Museum Metro Gold Line Station. Birding walk at 6:45pm. At 8pm two films screen. First: Paddle to the Sea – a short film based on the classic children’s book. Second: Rock the Boat. Admission is free – though donations for Rock the Boat will be accepted. More event information at Audubon and Facebook.
> **UPDATED – POSTPONED SEE COMMENT BELOW The city of Los Angeles LID (Low Impact Development) ordinance will be heard at the 9am Tuesday July 20th 2010 meeting of the city council’s Energy and Environment Committee, which takes place room 1010 on the 10th floor at Los Angeles City Hall. Background on LID here and here. Committee agenda will be here, once posted (should be up Friday this week.) Follow the LID city council motion 09-1554 here, including RSS feed.
> Another excellent L.A. River documentary is now available online. Watch The River Under the City of Angels by Fred Kaplan (27 minutes, 2010.) It’s very personal and poignant, with lots of great footage from all up and down the Los Angeles River, plus interview footage with Lewis MacAdams, Ed Reyes, Carol Armstrong, Scott Wilson, Jenny Price and others. Well worth watching!
> There’s a lot of coverage of last week’s big Los Angeles River navigability announcement. The L.A. Times‘ Louis Sahagun has the best coverage. Yes, better than L.A. Creek Freak… though I think we got the news online slightly earlier and we also covered the actual source documents, and the planned park on Compton Creek. After creek freak’s really quick video of EPA’s Lisa Jackson’s announcement, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’s folks posted much better quality edited video here.
Some worthwhile coverage: KPCC radio has excellent audio. Other good reads at Chance of Rain, High Country News, Ballona Blog, Curbed L.A., LAist, River Network, Modern Hiker, and even Mayor Villaraigosa himself pens a piece at Huffington Post. For the sort of “Navigable? Are you kidding?” response, check ProfessorBainbridge and Legal Planet.
> The Pasadena City Council met last night to consider building soccer fields at Hahamongna nature park. We’re hoping to report more on this as we get more news (or to link to a full account), but the council voted 4-3 to proceed with fields at the site. Read Creek Freak background on the issue here and visit Save Hahamongna to get news and get involved.
> Dredging Today “dedicated to dredging” reports that Dutra Dredging has been awarded a $1.3M contract for dredging the Los Angeles River estuary. Your federal stimulus funds at work.
July 10, 2010 § 4 Comments
With the above forty-one words restoring disputed federal protections to the Los Angeles River, it’s been a pretty excellent week for local creeks and their human friends. The federal navigability and protection issues were very hot when this blog was getting started back in mid-2008, so it’s a treat to see them resolved this week. We thought we’d do some wrap-up with some of the primary documents behind this week’s announcement and then a round-up of what we’ve written about the issue before. (Also, next week, we’re hoping to do some editorializing about what the determination means for the future… and why navigability as a test for federal protection for clean water may not be the best way forward for healthy creeks.)
First off, the actual document that states that the entire L.A. River is navigable – a 6 July 2010 letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumenfeld to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District District Engineer Colonel Mark Toy :
July 7, 2010 § 24 Comments
Today, standing along the soft-bottom Compton Creek, the federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson proclaimed that the EPA is designating “the entire L.A. River as traditional navigable waters.” In the video above, the announcement comes at about 1:55 and the crowd cheers! Jackson continues stating that this means “the entire 51-mile watershed is protected” and “that areas like Compton Creek will have the full protection of our nation’s clean water law.”
More below on other great news from the press conference, and more of Jackson’s remarks.
June 12, 2009 § 2 Comments
> “Touch ze water, man” Cornerstone Theater‘s Touch the Water is showing NOW, and continues Wednesday through Sunday through June 21st ( this weekend and next weekend only!) Come and see your creek freak blogger Joe Linton’s dramatic debut and what the LA Weekly describes as including a “stunning moment of spine-tingling magic that is the raison d’etre of site-specific theater.” Most performances include pre-play river walks, lead by local creek freaks including Jenny Price, Robert Garcia, Miguel Luna and others. Make reservations online at the Cornerstone website. Here are a few suggestions for theater-goers:
- DRESS WARMLY, bring blankets. It’s outdoors, along the river.
- Like many places on the L.A.River, the site isn’t easy to find! The address is 2800 Casitas Avenue, LA 90039, but my friends tell me that the Google directions are difficult to follow. Use the bike/transit directions here or driving directions on the Cornerstone website.
- Make your reservations soon – reserve on-line here – the weekend shows have been selling out!
(For my handful of loyal readers: I promise to blog more once this production is over!)
> The Pacific American Volunteer Association and Anahuak Youth Sports Organization host a Los Angeles River clean-up this Saturday June 13th via Green L.A. Girl.
> Author and Urban Ranger Jenny Price, after leading her pre-play walk this Friday, will lead Friends of the Los Angeles River’s tour of the Lower Los Angeles River on Sunday June 14th.
SOME RECENT NEWS:
> Per the Long Beach Press-Telegram, L.A. County Supervisors have voted to proceed with a Compton Creek Master Plan.
The Glendale News Press reports that Disney is being sued for alledgedly polluting the river-adjacent Polliwog Parcel. Polliwog is a remnant piece of Griffith Park stranded north of the Los Angeles River when the river was straightened. The site has been discussed as part of a future Los Angeles River greenway (though today most of the site is separated from the river by the 134 Freeway.)
Relief from the Concrete lets us know that the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the San Gabriel River Discovery Center has been released and is now open for comments.
According to Science Dude, the San Gabriel River’s sea turtles appear to have established a year-round colony.
W Roscoe (with my friend Federico) explores the Ballona Creek underground.
Some new video coverage of local waterways:
- KCET’s beautiful multi-media river web extravaganza Departures: L.A. River
- Long Beach artist Carina Downing’s poignant Sespe / L.A. comparison Houses and Homes II
- Time-lapse ride on the San Gabriel River bike path
- Additional proof (or maybe spoof) of river’s navigability
Some creeky new blogs:
- Ballona Creek Watershed News and Information – I enjoyed their coverage of the true story of fishermen who bagged a deer.
- Arroyo Lover – the Arroyo Seco Foundation’s Meredith McKenzie‘s blog on restoring the Arroyo Seco, including coverage of the recent Tour de Arroyo Seco bike ride.
Lastly, probably off topic, but about water at least: see this WaterWired post on a water-computer used to predict changes in the economy. It’s both elegant and Rube-Goldberg – follow the link on the blog to watch the video.