Target: California State Senator Kevin de Leon
Goal: Thank senator for providing access to areas of the Los Angeles River that were previously prohibited
The Los Angeles River is a well known landmark in L.A., but its limited access has prevented Angelenos from fully enjoying it. Thank Senator Kevin de Leon for proposing a recently passed bill that will allow people to have access to the river so that they can work on restoring it, and enjoy it once again.
Stretching almost 50 miles long, the Los Angeles River starts off in the city of Canoga Park, making its way through 14 cities before finally ending in Long Beach at the Port of Los Angeles. Once a beautiful, flowing river that was lush with vegetation and wildlife, it was the main freshwater source for the L.A. region. But when the Los Angeles Aqueduct replaced the region’s water source in 1913, the L.A. River came to be seen solely as a potential source of danger because of its frequent flooding throughout the years.
This fear of flooding led to a project in 1938 which completely encased the river’s bed and banks in concrete, and that flood control measure still stands today. Before the project was completed, the river and its surrounding areas had housed several fish and bird species, as well as mammals such as the Mule Deer, Grey Wolf, and North American Beaver. These mammal and native fish species were all wiped out after the completed project, which paved over 80% of the river. Ever since then, the L.A. River has been more of a concrete bed than an actual river, with water trudging, and not flowing, down the concrete channel after a rainfall.
Aside from being a public eyesore, people do not have access to most of this “concrete playground” except for a few miles here and there. Most of the river is surrounded by fences and walls to keep people out. Existing law had guaranteed the public a right of access to the river, but public agencies had not ensured nor enforced this right. But thanks to Senator Kevin de Leon, Senate bill 1201 recently passed, granting access to the Los Angeles River for recreational and educational activities. Sign the petition and thank Senator de Leon for his bill which enables Angelenos and visitors to enjoy this mighty river once again.
Dear Senator Kevin de Leon,
Major sections of the Los Angeles River have been closed off to the public for over 70 years. Many of those areas can be enjoyed once again thanks to your bill, SB 1201. Thank you for spearheading efforts to open up access to the river for educational and recreational activities. A first step towards restoring this life-giving river, it is a momentous occasion and we applaud you for helping to make this happen.
For far too long the L.A. River has snaked through the region, a dull gray channel of cement, looking like a public eyesore. Closed off to residents and visitors, city officials have really never made efforts to improve the existing ecosystem or to restore the natural habitat that initially existed. But allowing access once again will enable Los Angeles residents to implement programs and activities that will restore and revitalize this once beautiful natural landmark. Thank you for “paving the way” towards making the Los Angeles River, and the city of Los Angeles, vibrant and alive again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: James Brasuell via Curbed Los Angeles