The Los Angeles River

Breaking news – there is a river in Los Angeles, who knew? For thousands of years, the Los Angeles river was a large meandering natural river, that was an indispensable source of water and life for inhabitants in the area.


Photo by: http://davebullock.com/ / http://eecue.com/

Native Americans began inhabiting the area some 9000 years ago. The pueblo of Los Angeles was established in 1781

From the beginning of time this river was unique, not only in its richness in flora and fauna, but also in its topography. The problem laid in the fact that the river did not run inside of a natural channel – as most rivers do.

Instead, the river flowed over a wide area of braided channels making its way to the Pacific. At times, the river flowed like gentle trickle, and other times, it would make its way down like a violent debris laden flood.

Thus began the challenge of man versus the natural world.

In 1913, the LA River was the sole water source for all of Los Angeles. Southern Californiaʼs wetlands and riparian ecosystems were some of the most diverse and productive habitats on the West Coast – with a myriad of native plant and animal species. It is estimated that today

80 – 90% historical wetlands lost
90 – 95% Californiaʼs Riparian Ecosystem destroyed

Today, the concrete channel you see, was at one point in recent history, a combination of arroyos, swamps, seasonal marshes, meadows, streams, perennial freshwater ponds and creeks.

The river became a critical element in the founding of our grand city. It gave rise to a thriving farming community growing corn, wheat, and grapes, amongst other things.

As the population of the city began to grow, it naturally occurred over the riverʼs natural floodplain.

But, with the arrival of the Europeans and the development of the city, change was inevitable.

The lower Los Angeles River was part of one of the largest floodplains in the United States.

In the late 30ʼs, after numerous catastrophic floods and in an attempt to dominate nature, and succumbing to the pressures of land use population growth urbanization;The US Army Corp of Engineers, claimed one of their largest feats in their history, to channelize this natural beast in concrete.

By 1954 the entire length of the river was channelized.

It took 30 years and 3.5 million barrels of concrete to channelize the river and its tributaries.

When it was completed, it was no longer referred to a river, anymore. but was renamed the Los Angeles River Flood Control Channel.


Photo by: pmong9
 


Historically, much of the water that flowed through the valley seeped into the ground to fill the giant underground aquifer that has supplied water to Los Angeles for over a hundred years.

Today, LA receives only 15% of water supplied by rain in the form of groundwater.

With the Valley being over 60% hard surfaces; rainwater is directed to storm drains that empty directly into the river, which ends up in our oceans, untreated.

Storm water run off is any kind of water that runs off city streets, either from sprinklers, hoses, or rain. It collects debris, litter, feces and heavy metals from our tires and ends up in our storm drains, and again, into our oceans, contaminating them.

Due to this runoff from dense clusters of industrial and residential activity, our river is contaminated with ammonia, metals, coliform, trash, algae, oil, pesticides, and volatile organics.

The Los Angeles River flows 52 miles through some the most diverse communities in Southern California, just imagine if we were viewed as a riverside community?

During the dry summer months there is little activity that permeates from our encased river, although come winter it can become a river filled with racing waters.

The Los Angeles River has a compelling history and innate natural beauty of which many Angelenos are unaware.

Although only 52 miles long, the L.A. River has a significant drop of 795 feet in elevation.

There are twenty-two dams or diversion structures, and no part of the River remains in a native state; every reach of the river has been altered and engineered.

There are many restoration efforts to bring back the vitality of our river to its natural state.

Just as the destruction of Penn Station has been considered one of Americaʼs historical atrocities, so has the destruction of Los Angeles River.

We are daily reminded of one of manʼs miscalculated achievements.

Perhaps, both of these examples can demonstrate how manʼs ego can get in the way of preserving both natural and man made wonders.

For more on Nancy, visit Astrid Design Studio

Related posts:

(Video) Ashley Tisdale Teams Up with Project Pink
RECALL: Fruit, Vegetable & Sandwich Products Containing Apples Due To Possible Listeria Contamin...
Reduce Your Toxic Load Series: How to Detox Your Fridge

35 Comments

  • Do you have any video of that? I’d want to find out more details.

  • There’s certainly a great deal to find out about this subject.
    I love all of the points you made.

  • It’s remarkable in favor of me to have a site, which is useful in support of my know-how.
    thanks admin

  • Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is just excellent and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.

    Well with your permission let me to grab your
    RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  • You’re so awesome! I don’t think I have read a single thing like
    this before. So great to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this issue.
    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This
    site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  • It’s perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time
    to be happy. I’ve read this publish and if I may just I desire
    to counsel you few attention-grabbing issues or suggestions.
    Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.
    I wish to learn even more things approximately it!

  • Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
    in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and
    even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  • I simply couldn’t go away your web site before suggesting that I extremely
    loved the standard info a person provide in your visitors?
    Is gonna be again frequently in order to check out new
    posts

  • I know this site presents quality based posts and other material, is there any other web page which
    provides these stuff in quality?

  • You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the article you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as
    you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    All the time follow your heart.

  • I am genuinely delighted to read this weblog posts which consists of plenty of useful facts, thanks for providing
    such information.

  • It’s an awesome article in support of all the web
    people; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

  • Just desire to say your article is as surprising.
    The clearness in your post is simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to
    date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable
    work.

  • Ahaa, its good dialogue concerning this paragraph here at this website, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  • Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people consider worries
    that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the
    nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts
    have been kinda boring… I miss your super writings.
    Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  • I am in fact thankful to the holder of this web site who has shared this
    great paragraph at at this place.

  • It’s going to be end of mine day, except before finish I am reading this great post to improve my know-how.

  • bookmarked!!, I love your site!

  • Nice answer back in return of this difficulty with solid arguments and describing all
    concerning that.

  • It’s amazing to visit this web page and reading the views
    of all friends concerning this article, while I am also eager of getting familiarity.

  • Can I simply say what a relief to uncover an individual
    who actually understands what they’re talking about on the web.
    You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make
    it important. More and more people need to look at this and understand this side
    of the story. I was surprised that you are not more popular because you certainly
    have the gift.

  • Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  • Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful information specially the last part :) I
    care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  • Hi there, I believe your blog could be having browser compatibility issues.

    Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, great site!

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on los angeles river. Regards

  • I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
    or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  • It’s remarkable to visit this website and reading the views
    of all friends concerning this post, while I am also zealous of getting experience.

  • Hey there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding
    one? Thanks a lot!

  • Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be at the net the easiest factor to understand of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked whilst other folks think about issues that they just do not recognize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top as smartly as
    defined out the entire thing without having side-effects , other
    people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

    Thanks

  • I every time used to read article in news papers but now as I am a user of web therefore from now I am using net for
    articles or reviews, thanks to web.

  • I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying
    to create my own personal blog and would love to learn where you got this from or
    what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  • you’re truly a good webmaster. The site loading pace is
    incredible. It kind of feels that you’re doing any unique trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterpiece.
    you’ve performed a great task in this topic!

  • Thankfulness to my father who shared with me regarding this weblog, this weblog
    is really amazing.