The LA River's beautification boom has mostly focused on the upper portions of the river in the Valley and in Northeast LA, but if advocates had it their way, the whole river would receive an even sprucing up. That's why they've pushed for a stretch of the river between Willow Street and Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach to be spared from its annual river-bottom bulldozing by asking the California Regional Water Quality Control Board not to renew the Los Angeles County Public Works Department's five-year permit to do so, reports the LA Times.
They swayed the board, which voted that Public Works receive only a one-year permit and be required to organize workshops aimed at finding "less destructive methods of maintaining the riverbed." A cofounder of Friends of the LA River, one of the groups campaigning to keep the riverbed intact declared, "We're calling this a victory." Meanwhile, Los Angeles finally has a funding plan to start restoring the entire length of the river through the city, but that of course doesn't include this stretch outside its borders.
The LA River is mostly covered in concrete for flood control reasons. Before it was paved in 1938, it frequently spilled over with devastating consequences. Current maintenance works to keep it functioning as such.
· Activists win round in bid to keep vegetation near mouth of L.A. River [LAT]
· Los Angeles Has a Plan to Start Fixing Up the Whole LA River [Curbed LA]
· 25 Photos of the Los Angeles River Before It Was Paved in 1938 [Curbed LA]