Quick mends: Army Corps to erect barriers, cut vegetation in Glendale Narrows

VIEW from the Glendale/Hyperion Bridge in 1937. (Courtesy LA Public Library)

VIEW from the Glendale/Hyperion Bridge in 1937.
(Courtesy LA Public Library)

UPDATE: 

The barriers are going up now on east sidea of river. I was in the north Atwater park area and they are working their way south from Colorado Blvd. They have have made it to the park. Lights were being turned on and it didnt look like they were stopping for the night. Forget about any river access in that area!

 

I found this recent story that I saw on TV news as well as read in the L.A. Times pretty confusing. From the story:

“We’re hoping for the best, but we’re going to continue to prepare for the worst,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “… If [the river] floods, there is risk of significant damage, not to mention real and immediate danger to Angelenos.”

If you’ve been down to Glendale Narrows, you know that the river encasement is already high, 20 feet, according to the U.S. Army Corps Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study so what could a temporary four-foot-high barrier accomplish that isn’t already there? And for $4.5 million?

But the more vexing part of this emergency solution is “removing debris.” If the Corps removes the islands and plant life that dot the area, you can kiss the only structure fish have goodbye. It’s also a very healthy bird habitat. The NBC story indicates this is already taking place. Here’s the 2013 draft redesign plan for that area:

(U.S. Army Corps)

(U.S. Army Corps)

Existing Channel Features – The existing trapezoidal channel within the sub-reach varies from grouted rock to concrete paved channel, is 310 feet wide from the top of bank and 20 feet high from the invert.

Preliminary Channel Design – As seen in Figure 4.12, ” Cross-Section 5, Los Feliz Boulevard to Glendale Freeway,” the proposed design would construct four concrete terraced planters in the left/east bank of the channel slope. The right/west bank of the trapezoidal bank would be replaced by a 22-foot-high vertical retaining wall with subdrainage under the invert slab, which would meet the existing top of bank. Two riprap toedowns would be constructed below the channel bottom and bank. The first riprap toedown would be constructed on the right/west bank and the second that would include bank protection, would be located on the left/east bank. Two 16-foot-wide asphalt concrete maintenance roads would be constructed on the land of the retaining walls on the top of bank. The existing cobble/soft bottom would be protected in place and expanded 27 feet towards the proposed right/west bank of the channel.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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Two L.A. River rec. zones open for summer splashing

PADDLE UP: The L.A. Conservation Corps guides a group through still waters and overhanging willows. (Jim Burns)

PADDLE UP: The L.A. Conservation Corps guides a group through still waters and overhanging willows. (Jim Burns)

Fly-fishers, grab your egg patterns.
Kayakers, adjust your life vests.
Birders, shine your binocular lenses.

because …

once again water recreation is going live in the Glendale Narrows in Elysian Valley and in a portion of the Sepulveda Basin. Hats off to councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority and the U.S. Army Corps for keeping it afloat (haha) this year.

The dets for May 26 through Sept. 1, sunrise to sunset:

GA-RUMP: So is this a Western Toad or a Western Spadefoot Toad? (Jim Burns)

GA-RUMP: So is this a Western Toad or a Western Spadefoot Toad? (Jim Burns)

— Flyfishing/traditional fishing are both super-fun, and don’t forget to bring your kids along. You will need a fishing license for each rod, but it’s well worth the money. Remember this is the only time of the year that you can legally fish the river. Check out this story I wrote for KCET for details.
Tickets to explore one and a half miles of the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area with LA River Expeditions go on sale tomorrow at noon. I donned a life vest a couple of years back and had a blast.
— In Glendale Narrow, rent a kayak at Marsh Park through L.A. River Kayaks. Or paddle through our very own rapids with L.A. River Kayak Safari by booking here.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

Public comment opportunities, a possible L.A. River district and the ‘birdman’

Although obviously written by a child, the sentiment holds. (courtesy Mylariver.org)

Although obviously written by a child, the sentiment holds. (courtesy Mylariver.org)

The city will host two public meets to present the proposed Los Angeles River Recreational Zone Pilot Program the Glendale Narrows. Come on down and weigh in:

Saturday, Feb 23, from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m., Dickerson Employee Benefits Conference Room, 1918 Riverside Drive, L.A. or the following Monday, at the Ad Hoc River Committee Meeting at 3 p.m. in City Hall, 10th floor. For courtesy parking, call (213) 473-7001

Meanwhile, the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities has awarded a community challenge planning grant worth more than $2 million to the newly formed Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative. (Could somebody tell me who comes up with these names … geez). The aim is to use the bucks to “re-envision Northeast Los Angeles communities located along the L.A. River into a Riverfront District, focusing on community revitalization, environmental stewardship, sustainable civic engagement and economic growth for the entire city,” according to a press release from NELA RC.

If you want to weigh in on this one, simply go to its new website, http://www.mylariver.org, and complete the sentence “I want my river to be …” Of the 500 responses so far, one read “A nice safe place with no trash and have nice friends.” I penned one about fly fishing for carp, because my fear in all of this is that the fish will be eliminated by the Army Corps because they aren’t indigenous.

And Tony Taylor a.k.a “the birdman” has begun an online petition against any sort of river development short of turning it into a wildlife sanctuary. You can find it at http://www.change.org and of this writing has 15 signatures.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

With an eye to the Los Angeles River Recreational Zone Pilot Program

Bird's eye view: Inside a storm drain, safe for kids, one of the many improvements made at the North Atwater Creek Pocket Park. (Jim Burns)

Bird’s eye view: Inside a storm drain, safe for kids, one of the many improvements made at the North Atwater Creek Pocket Park. (Jim Burns)

The City of Los Angeles is busy presenting the proposed 2013 Los Angeles River Recreational Zone Pilot Program for Glendale Narrows with the second meeting occurring right now at City Hall. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend, but will post when the final meeting is to occur, sometime next month. The idea is to get public comment on a plan to open up recreation within that approximately seven-mile stretch of our river.

I’ve read the pilot program and all you kayakers out there should be pretty excited. If passed, the proposal would mean that individual non-motorized boaters would be able to launch from North Atwater Park, Steelhead Park and Marsh Park,  from Memorial Day through Labor Day, when there is very little chance of a flood from torrential rain.  That also means you could be fly fishing from your kayak as well, because the proposal also calls for fishing, bird watching and hiking. Swimming would still be a no-no. And float tubes are just plain impractical because of low water.

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife regs would then apply in the river.

I really wonder what this would mean for the eradication of carp in the river, as the U.S. Army Corps views it as an invasive species, even though carp have been resident for decades.

From the report: On Aug. 28, 2012, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1201, which amended the Los Angeles Flood Control Act “to provide for public use of navigable waterways under the district’s control that are suitable for recreational and educational purposes, when these purposes are not inconsistent with the use thereof by the district for flood control and water conservation.”

Stay tuned and see you on the river, Jim Burns