Press Release: Legislature passes $100 million in funding for LA River

Update: Below is a joint press release from Friends of the LA River and River LA, two advocacy groups. Here is a news story for a better perspective on what this money could mean, if Gov. Brown signs off on the funding. 

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

 

Friends of the LA River and River LA congratulate California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin de León for their leadership and support for the Los Angeles River. Today, $100 million in Prop 1 funding passed the legislature and is on its way to the governor.

“We want one great 51-mile river and greenway,” said River LA‘s Executive Director Omar Brownson. “Having Pro-Tem de León and Speaker Rendon lead the way to bring together the various local agencies and stakeholders, along with the financial resources to make a difference is huge. There are 2,100 acres of land within the flood control channel that we want to unlock for increased public benefit. This investment is key to moving this vision forward.”

This is a momentous occasion that demonstrates the state’s commitment to partner with Southern California in transforming this vital resource to truly serve the needs of our region. These leaders, along with Mark Stanley and Joe Edmiston, Executive Directors of the Rivers and Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancies respectively, are helping to empower the community to create a healthy, more accessible, and vibrant public resources for all.

“This is a historic moment for the Los Angeles River,” said Marissa Christiansen, Executive Director of Friends of the Los Angeles River. “Pro-Tem de León and Speaker Rendon have demonstrated the type of unified, collaborative leadership that will ultimately lead to a thriving natural resource for all Angelenos. This funding comes at a pivotal moment in the river’s history and will truly make a meaningful impact in its progress forward. As we say, River restoration ‘takes a Friend.’ Today, we are thrilled to have a Friend in both these leaders.”

Friends of the LA River and River LA are working together towards the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. For almost a century, management of the river has been singular in focus: to protect the residents of the river basin from rare but potentially devastating floods. Now, the region is looking to transform this river of concrete into a healthy, resilient resource for all.

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Calendar Item: Off Tha’ Hook fishing throwback returns Saturday, Sept. 3

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August is my least favorite month in L.A.: It’s hot under that super-heated cloudless sky; there are wildfires burning, scaring us all and further fouling our air; and I’ve finished bing-watching “Scarier Things” on Netflix.

Even without Netflix, things begin to pick up for me with USC’s first game (and now the Rams, yippee), going back to teach journalism and getting to participate in our own home-grown L.A. River fishing event, Friends of the Los Angeles River’s Off Tha’ Hook.

Each year, this festival geared around what our river is — and what it could be — grows, from its first “Hey, Martha” moment in 2014 (as in, “Hey, Martha, can you believe what they’re doing down there …), to this year, the first at the notable Bow Tie location. The water is deeper here than North Atwater Park, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the adult division anglers catch.  Sign up for $35 here and read more about the contest. (This is a price reduction from last year; also, if you help out with the kids’ fish, you’ll receive a $10 discount)

Off Tha' Hook

ONE OF LAST YEAR’S WINNERS Issaih Salgado, 15, of Palmdale (left) hangs with event organizer Bill Bowling. (Jim Burns)

Much as I enjoy watching the fishers catch, and then being part of the “bucket brigade” that brings the fish to biologists to weigh and measure, the best part — the part that sustains me throughout the year — is the kids’ fish. For many youngsters, it’s their first introduction to our favorite sport, and this year the Los Angeles Rod and Reel Club will once again be on hand with kid-friendly rods and their expertise. And, it’s free.

So for all of you hiding out inside, binge-watching Netflix, please join us early next month. It’s one of two days you don’t need a fishing license to legally fish. I think you’ll really enjoy it. Like I said, it’s one of the fall treats I look forward to every year.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

 

Calendar Item: Sign up for this weekend’s LA River clean up

UPDATE: Friends of the Los Angeles River was born in Northeast Los Angeles 30 years ago and the hometown came out like never before for this year’s Great Los Angeles River CleanUp!

More than 5,000 volunteers came and pulled an estimated 30-40 tons of trash from Los Feliz to Lincoln Heights last weekend.

It’s not over yet – next weekend the CleanUp moves to the Lower River for the final day of the CleanUp. This is your last chance to join the River movement at this year’s CleanUp.

 

Don’t miss the granddaddy clean up of them all! Register here.

CLEANUP