Los Angeles Wants its River Back From the Feds
"Los Angeles County officials are proposing to take ownership of 40 miles of flood-control channels along the Los Angeles River from the federal government in order to expedite maintenance and water conservation improvements as climate change increases the frequency of extreme weather," reports Louis Sahagun.
The announcement brings into focus the conflicting missions of regional flood control regulators and the federal government. The mission of the Army Corps of Engineers, according to a source from the County Department of Public Works cited in the article, "does not include myriad issues his agency’s County Flood Control District regards as essential: water conservation, movement of sediment, graffiti removal, ecosystem friendly vegetation, homeless encampments and recreational opportunities."
The county hopes to take control of the river channel to speed up the delivery of groundwater storage projects, habitat restoration, new open and space and recreation projects, and new residential, commercial, and office development, according to the article.
The article also includes a lot more detail about the many pressing improvements required of dam and stormwater control infrastructure along the river—more reasons the county wants to take ownership of the river channel.