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The Los Angeles River has evolved from an uncontrolled, meandering river producing a valuable source of water for early inhabitants to a major flood control waterway. Today, in addition to flood amenities for the Los Angeles Basin, it offers significant opportunities for recreation and aesthetic improvement for the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and other entities have joined in an effort to develop and maintain these resources. In 1991, after much attention to the river, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed the Departments of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Regional Planning to develop the Los Angeles River Master Plan. The Master Plan, completed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1996, formulated a multi-objective program for the river while recognizing its primary purpose for flood control. Overall, the Master Plan advocates environmental enhancement, recreational opportunities, and economic development.

The Master Plan is overseen by an Advisory Committee of 50 members representing federal, state, city, and local agencies, and environmental and community groups. The Advisory Committee meets on a regular basis, and members are given the opportunity to review proposed projects. Project reviews are also performed by Public Works, the agency that issues construction permits, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that the structural integrity of the river is not compromised.

Completed and upcoming projects, including the development of bikeways, pocket parks, landscaping enhancements, Earth Day events, the Adopt-a-Riverbank Program, and other community and environmental projects have been reviewed, supported, and monitored by the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee has also been actively resolving three remaining issues with implementation of the Master Plan and subsequent access to the river: long term maintenance, liability, and security.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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