City of Los Angeles
The City of Los Angeles is in the process of implementing River revitalization projects through coordination with the following City entities:
- Mayor’s Office
- City Council
- Board of Public Works
- Bureau of Engineering, River Project Office
- Bureau of Sanitation
- Bureau of Street Services
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
- Department of City Planning
- Economic and Workforce Development Department
- Department of Recreation and Parks
- Department of Building and Safety
- Department of Cultural Affairs
- Department of Transportation
- Housing Department
The City’s Adopted Capital Improvement Expenditure Program includes a listing of projects that relate to the Los Angeles River revitalization effort, as reported by the City's Administrative Officer. The project listing includes projects for bridges, recreational bike paths, parks and associated facilities, and riparian restoration features.
The Los Angeles River Projects Status Reports prepared by the City Administrative Officer can be here.
The most recent Los Angeles River Projects 2013-2014 Status Report can be found here.
LARRMP Priority Project List: This list is used to focus Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan implementation efforts on a subset of projects that have the potential to be implemented through partnerships and outside funding. The list is ordered by implementation time horizon, roughly as follows: near term (0-5 years), near-mid (5-10 years), mid (10-15 years) mid-long (15-20 years), and long-term (more than 20 years). However, should adequate funding become available, these estimated implementation time horizons would change. The list will be updated on a regular basis. This effort generally considers the approximately 240 projects proposed by the LARRMP.
Projects proposed by the Revitalization Master Plan and associated Map locations of proposed projects [click here]
Potential funding for revitalization projects include public/private partnerships, as well as grants and partnerships with federal, state, and county government. Several projects within the Los Angeles River watershed are also being funded by the City's Proposition O bond program for Clean Water, Ocean, River, Beach, Bay, and Storm Water Cleanup, passed in 2004.
Los Angeles County
The responsibilities of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LACDPW) include the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of roads, bridges, airports, sewers, water supply, flood control, water quality, and water conservation facilities as well as for the design and construction of capital projects.
In 1991, after much attention to the River, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors directed the County Departments of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Regional Planning to develop the County's Los Angeles River Master Plan. This Master Plan, completed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1996, formulated a multi-objective program for the entire-52 mile River while recognizing its primary purpose for flood protection. Overall, the Master Plan advocates environmental enhancement, recreational opportunities, and economic development.
With similar goals, the City of Los Angeles' 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan builds upon the County of Los Angeles' 1996 Los Angeles River Master Plan, but specifically focuses on the 32 miles of the River within the City.
The County's 1996 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 the Department of Public Works--the agency that issues construction permits--and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who ensures that the structural integrity of the river is not compromised.
Consistency between the City of Los Angeles' 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and the LACDPW's 1996 Los Angeles River Master Plan ensures that projects along the River will help meet common goals and be mutually compatible.
For more information on the County of Los Angeles Los Angeles River Master Plan and its watershed, click here.
Los Angeles River Master Plan County Liaison
The following websites provide information on watersheds and watershed management:
Calfed Bay-Delta Program:
Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation, Watershed Protection Division, City of Los Angeles:
Department of Public Works, Watershed Management Division, County of Los Angeles:
Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles:
Los Angeles County Integrated Regional Water Management Plan:
State Water Resources Control Board:
EPA Watershed Academy:
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Numerous State agencies provide planning, design, construction, interagency coordination, grant funding, and regulatory guidance of studies and projects that are relevant to the Los Angeles River:
California Coastal Conservancy -- The Coastal Conservancy acts with others to preserve, protect and restore the resources of the California Coast. Their vision is of a beautiful, restored and accessible coastline. The South Coast region extends from Ventura County to the Mexican Border. It is known for its beautiful beaches, moderate climate and rich biodiversity. The region is defined by the coastal plains of several major rivers and is bounded by the Transverse Mountain Ranges.
California Department of Water Resources -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is responsible for managing and protecting California’s water. DWR works with other agencies to benefit the state’s people, and to protect, restore and enhance the natural and human environments. Their work includes important planning frameworks such as the California Water Plan and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
California Resources Agency -- The mission of the California Resources Agency is to restore, protect and manage the state's natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved. Numerous bond programs, including River Parkways, are available through this agency.
California State Parks – California State Parks contains the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation. State park units include underwater preserves, reserves, and parks; redwood, rhododendron, and wildlife reserves; state beaches, recreation areas, wilderness areas, and reservoirs; state historic parks, historic homes, Spanish era adobe buildings, including museums, visitor centers, cultural reserves, and preserves; as well as lighthouses, ghost towns, waterslides, conference centers, and off-highway vehicle parks. Theyprovide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Serving as anchors along the Los Angeles River, State Parks has acquired and manages Los Angeles State Historic Park and Rio de Los Angeles State Park.
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) -- The MRCA is dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services for almost 60,000 acres of public lands and parks that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) , or other agencies, and provides comprehensive education and interpretation programs for the public. The MRCA works in cooperation with the Conservancy and other local government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, park construction services, park operations, fire prevention, ranger services, educational and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year, and is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. The websiteLAMountains.com is a service of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and is maintained by the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority. It includes a listing of SMMC parks along the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley region and downstream of Griffith Park. In addition, the MRCA is currently managing a recreation program in a portion of the Glendale Narrows section of the Los Angeles River.
San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy -- The San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy was created by the California legislature in 1999. One of nine conservancies within the California Resources Agency, their mission is to preserve open space and habitat in order to provide for low-impact recreation and educational uses, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and watershed improvements within their jurisdiction. Their territory covers eastern Los Angeles County and western Orange County. This vast and varied area includes mountains, valleys, rivers, coastal plain, and coastline.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy -- Through direct action, alliances, partnerships, and joint powers authorities, the Conservancy's mission is to strategically buy back, preserve, protect, restore, and enhance treasured pieces of Southern California to form an interlinking system of urban, rural and river parks, open space, trails, and wildlife habitats that are easily accessible to the general public. They have helped to preserve over 69,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings, and have improved more than 114 public recreational facilities throughout Southern California.
State Water Resources Control Board - Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board -- The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LARWQCB) protects ground and surface water quality in the Los Angeles Region, including the coastal watersheds of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, along with very small portions of Kern and Santa Barbara Counties. The Los Angeles Regional Board is one of nine Regional Boards statewide. These Boards are part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CAL/EPA), along with the Air Resources Board, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Department of Toxic Substance Control, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Los Angeles District
The Los Angeles District of the Army Corps of Engineers is one of four District offices in the South Pacific Division. The boundaries of the Los Angeles District touch the four western states of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. The 226,000 square mile area includes 420 miles of coastline, 14 harbors, and the highest, lowest, and hottest spots in the contiguous 48 states. The following LA River related studies and projects are currently part of the Los Angeles District's program:
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Urban Waters Federal Partnership
The Urban Waters Federal Partnership aims to stimulate regional and local economies, create local jobs, improve quality of life, and protect Americans' health by revitalizing urban waterways in under-served communities across the country. The Los Angeles River pilot is one of several nationally recognized programs under the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is fostering collaboration and communication to bring attention and change to the river.
"The Urban Waters Federal Partnership established seven Urban Waters Pilot locations in June of 2011, with the goal of working closely with local partners to restore urban waterways. Cleaning up and restoring local water resources is essential to protecting Americans’ health and improving their overall quality of life. Revitalizing urban waterways will also reconnect citizens to open spaces, and will have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in these communities..."
For more information please contact:
Associate Water Division Director
US EPA, Region 9
Pauline K. Louie
Los Angeles River Watershed Ambassador
Urban Waters Federal Partnership
US Department of Interior (DOI)
America’s Great Outdoors Initiative
President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative to develop a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda. AGO takes as its premise that lasting conservation solutions should come from the American people - that the protection of our natural heritage is a non-partisan objective that is shared by all Americans. Instead of dictating policies, this initiative turns to communities for local, grassroots conservation initiatives. Instead of growing bureaucracy, it calls for reworking inefficient policies and making the federal government a better partner with states, tribes, and local communities. In 2010 the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative held a listening session in Los Angeles where communities were able to express their priorities regarding the river, recreation, and open space.
US Department of Interior (DOI)
National Park Service
Since 1916, the American people have entrusted the National Park Service with the care of their national parks. With the help of volunteers and park partners, they are proud to safeguard these more than 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But the work doesn't stop there. Tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close to home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun. For local information please visit:
US Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Community Challenge Planning Grant
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $28 million Community Challenge Planning Grant Program fosters reform and reduces barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital, and sustainable communities. Such efforts may include amending or replacing local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes, either on a jurisdiction-wide basis or in a specific neighborhood, district, corridor, or sector to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, the reuse of older buildings and structures for new purposes, and similar activities with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local or neighborhood level. The Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program is being initiated in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), co-leaders with HUD in the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. In Los Angeles this grant has been awarded to fund the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative.
Similar to the City of Los Angeles Sister Cities program, an International "Sister Rivers" program began in 2006 to foster information sharing and the gathering of best practices from restoration projects around the world.
- Cheonggye Stream Project: Seoul, South Korea (Sister River Agreement signed in October 2006)
- Yarqon River: Tel Aviv, Israel (Sister River Agreement signed in June 2008)
- Isar River: Munich, Germany
Environmental and community groups have been a driving force in efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River. Fueled by a passion for the river, what it was in the past and what it can be in the future, these groups have inspired, initiated, developed, and sponsored projects to make the river more safe, accessible, healthy, and beautiful.
The intent of this page is to provide a list of active organizations related to the Los Angeles River for informational purposes. No specific endorsement of any group or groups is intended or implied.
Over the past nine years Amigos de los Rios has worked as a liaison between the community and public agencies to facilitate the collaborative effort known as the Emerald Necklace. When complete, the Emerald Necklace Regional Park Network would unify a vast region of Southern California from the desert through the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, by linking more than 1,500 acres of parks and open spaces along an interconnected green-way around Rio Hondo, San Gabriel and the lower Los Angeles Rivers. The Emerald Necklace Vision Plan was inspired by the 1929 Olmsted Bartholomew Plan, designed for the Los Angeles area by the Olmsted Brothers – John Charles and Frederick Law Jr., sons of Frederick Law Olmsted. Like their father’s emerald necklace design the plan set out a system of parks and parkways, children’s playgrounds, and public beaches, which incorporated the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River watershed areas.
Anahuak Youth Soccer Association (AYSA) is a non-profit children’s sports organization. They provide group team soccer opportunities to children whose families cannot afford the fees charged by other local programs. AYSA also provides a social network for youth and their families and community leaders. They are actively involved in providing environmental educational opportunities along the Los Angeles River for the youth they serve.?
The Arroyo Seco Foundation (ASF) was founded by Charles Lummis more than one hundred years ago to preserve and promote the Arroyo Seco, one of Southern California's greatest natural treasures. Lummis was a journalist, poet and photographer who walked from Ohio to California in 1884 and became editor of the LA Times. The Arroyo Seco Foundation was revived in 1989 to continue his vision. Since then they have planted several thousand native trees in the Arroyo, participated in and led major planning efforts, educated the public about the riches of the Arroyo, and most importantly worked to restore and enhance the natural splendor of the Arroyo, a major tributary to the Los Angeles River, for future generations.
The Center’s mission is to inspire people to experience, understand and care for the local natural world. The nature-based education and community programs at Debs Park are designed to engage children and their families in the outdoor world, and to give them a personal stake in its protection by making environmental issues relevant to their lives. The Center is operated by Audubon California, a state field program of National Audubon Society, and is a vital part of Audubon’s national outreach initiative to engage Latino audiences. The Center, which is surrounded by predominately Latino neighborhoods, is a unique gathering place and dynamic focal point for outdoor recreation, environmental education and conservation action.
The mission of The City Project is to achieve equal justice, democracy, and livability for all. They carry out this mission by influencing the investment of public resources to achieve results that are equitable, enhance human health and the environment, and promote economic vitality for all communities. Focusing on parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools, health, and transit, they help bring people together to define the kind of community where they want to live and raise children. The City Project works with diverse coalitions in strategic campaigns to shape public policy and law, and to serve the needs of the community as defined by the community including work along the Los Angeles River.
Formerly the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, the Council for Watershed Health is a non-profit organization of community groups, government agencies, business and academia working cooperatively to solve problems in the watershed. Its mission is to facilitate an inclusive consensus process to preserve, restore, and enhance the economic, social, and ecological health of the region’s watersheds through education, research, and planning.
The team behind the Not A Cornfield project in Downtown Los Angeles became Farmlab, a short-term multi-disciplinary investigation of land use issues that are related to sustainability, livability, and health. Metabolic Studio is introducing LA Noria, the first water wheel connecting the Los Angeles River in 135 Years. LA Noria will bend the Los Angeles River and deliver water to the planned wetlands at the downtown Los Angeles State Historic Park or other adjacent open spaces. It is being conceived in combnination with ongoing conversations about water to commemorate the centenary of the LA Aqueduct.
Friends of Atwater Village (FAV) was founded in May 2000 by a group of concerned citizens. They are "hands on" group of volunteers working to improve their neighborhood, from river clean-ups to mural projects and more. FAV encourages responsible urban gardening, landscaping, and community plantings as well as promotion of local history including that of the Los Angeles River.
Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR)
FOLAR is a non-profit organization founded in 1986, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. One of the oldest and best-known grassroots organizations devoted to the L A River, they offer river tours as well as their annual river clean-up known as La Gran Limpieza.
Green LA’s purpose is to build a strong movement to win campaigns to transform Los Angeles into a sustainable city. The operating principles that guide their collaboration are inclusiveness; democratic participation with a commitment to hear diverse voices; transparency and accountability. Restoring our urban ecosystems means bringing nature back to our overly paved, gray urban core. Green LA’s work on this monumental task is being done by three committees of its Urban Ecosystems Work Group - the Verde Coalition/Open Space Committee, the Water Committee, and the Urban Ecosystems Committee.
Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean since 1985. They use research, education, community action and advocacy to pursue their mission.
The mission of Los Angeles Audubon is to promote the enjoyment and protection of birds and other wildlife through recreation, education, conservation and restoration.
The primary mission of the LA Conservation Corps is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success by providing them with job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community. The LA River Corps Program, in partnership with the City of LA's Community Development Department and the Board of Public Works' Bureau of Sanitization, is working to restore and revitalize sections of the LA River. Youth working on this project are providing clean up service at various project sites along the LA River. The services include litter abatement, graffiti removal and vegetation management. This project combines classroom education with outdoor experience for corps members. They participate in education and training sessions covering topics such as watershed habitat, native landscaping, river hydrology, ecology, and water quality management efforts for the River.
Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to build a better, more bike-able Los Angeles County. LACBC is the only membership-based nonprofit organization working exclusively for the millions of people who ride bikes in Los Angeles County. They organize the annual Los Angeles River Ride and through advocacy, education and outreach, bring together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.
L.A. Creek Freak is a blog featuring links, posts, and educational information towards healthy Southern California streams, creeks, rivers and neighborhoods and much more!
The Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation (LARRC) is a non-profit corporation charged with promoting responsible development, redevelopment, and revitalization of properties along the LA River corridor in accordance with the City of Los Angeles’ LA River Revitalization Master Plan. This includes parks, open space, mixed-use buildings, retail opportunities, housing, and business space. The RRC strives to improve the quality of life in Los Angeles by revitalizing the L.A. River corridor with sustainable land development projects.
Mujeres de la Tierra is a nonprofit environmental equity organization. Their mission is to support women and families interested in becoming active participants and decision makers in environmental issues impacting their neighborhoods in the Southern California area. They do this by creating a network of trained community leaders to lead, speak and act with a collective and influential voice.
The NRDC is one of the nation's most effective environmental action groups, combining the grassroots power of 1.4 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. NRDC was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. Their staff work with businesses, elected leaders, and community groups on the biggest issues we face today: curbing global warming and creating a clean energy future, reviving the world’s oceans, defending endangered wildlife and wild places, preventing pollution, ensuring safe and sufficient water, and fostering sustainable communities.
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. They are working with communities to make a positive impact around the world in more than 35 countries, all 50 United States and your backyard, including local rivers in California.
North East Trees is a community based, grassroots, environmental non-profit organization. They design and build parks that provide passive recreation opportunities and serve as gateways to bike paths, pedestrian and equestrian trails. Many are located along the Los Angeles River and local waterways. Founded in 1989 by Mr. Scott Wilson, a retired LAUSD high school teacher and licensed Landscape Architect, Northeast Tree’s mission is "to restore nature's services in resource challenged communities, through a collaborative resource development, implementation, and stewardship process. Mr. Wilson’s pledge to plant 5 trees a day for the rest of his life, and his parallel commitment to helping at-risk youth find meaningful employment in the green industry, have resulted in a non-profit organization delivering effective training and environmental restoration programs to underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles Area.
Remapping-LA is a project of the REMAP Center at UCLA (Center for Research in Engineering, Media, And Performance). REMAP was created by the School of Theater, Film and Television and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA. The Center aims to interweave artistic creativity with engineering invention, engaging significant issues of culture, community, and communication through research, production and education. REMAP aspires to make contributions that enable a diverse, inclusive and community empowering technological cultural environment. Remapping- LA, led by Prof. Fabian Wagmister, is creating a cultural and civic computing center across the street from the Los Angeles State Historic Park. REMAP aspires to make contributions that enable a diverse, inclusive and community-empowering technological cultural environment.
The River Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to planning for natural resource protection, conservation and enhancement in Los Angeles County. Their mission is to encourage responsible management of our watershed lands and revitalization of our rivers for the social, economic and environmental benefit of our communities. Through outreach, advocacy, scientific research and hands-on educational programs, they provide communities with the tools to reclaim their riverfront lands.
Due to development pressures, open space is often targeted for additional building. Save LA River Open Space is an advocacy group working to build the Los Angeles River Natural Park. Located at 4141 Whitsett Avenue in Studio City, the property is the last river-adjacent open space in the San Fernando Valley.
The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has worked with willing landowners, community groups, and national, state, and local agencies to complete more than 3,500 land conservation projects in 47 states, protecting 2.5 million acres. Since 1994, TPL has helped states and communities craft and pass over 330 ballot measures, generating almost $25 billion in new conservation-related funding. In Los Angeles, TPL’s Parks for People program centers around creating and improving parks, installing Fitness Zones and championing Green Alleys in some of the city's most densely populated, park poor neighborhoods as well as creating a green corridor along the Los Angeles River.
TreePeople is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the Los Angeles area for over three decades. Their work is about "helping nature heal our cities". TreePeople’s mission is to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share the process as a model for the world. They offer sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems, focusing on three areas: training and supporting communities to plant and care for trees; educating school children and adults about the environment; and working with government agencies on critical water issues.
Urban Rivers Institute
With a mission of revitalizing cities one river at a time, the Urban Rivers Institute focuses on river story telling, river school practice-oriented training, and an innovative urban river’s edge design integrating urban land use needs with sustainability-driven river restoration, using a watershed approach.
Urban Semillas is a community-based, watershed-driven organization promoting socially conscientious reconnaissance and outreach services. Their overarching goal is to educate underserved and monolingual (Spanish-speaking) communities about watershed and social justice issues, and to provide them with community-building skills, thus empowering them to actively participate in local, citywide, statewide, and nationwide planning and policy development.
The Village Gardeners of The Los Angeles River is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of the Los Angeles River between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Fulton Avenue, in Studio City & Sherman Oaks, CA. The mission of The Village Gardeners is to lead community in the environmental enhancement of Los Angeles River greenways with emphasis on?conservation, ecology, and restoration of natural habitat, through partnerships with schools, community organizations, and governmental agencies.
The William C. Velasquez Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy analysis organization chartered in 1985. Its purpose is to conduct research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities. WCVI, through its Community Development Strategies program, provides its 30,000-member network of community leaders and elected officials with data, analysis, and alternative strategies to help resolve longstanding socioeconomic challenges and problems. Through their Eco-Intern and Earth Day Latino programs they raise awareness about environmental issues including the Los Angeles River.