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Rivers and Watersheds

Los Angeles Times, July 28, 2008

Dear Feds -- turns out the L.A. River is navigable after all
By Veronique de Turenne

Last spring, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ruled that the L.A. River isn't actually a river because it's not navigable. On Friday, a group of river activists set off on a three-day paddle trip to prove a real and navigable river actually exists.

According to the Corp's findings, only a two-mile portion of the lower river merits the designation of "traditional navigable water." Though this offers clean water protections to that stretch of the channel, environmentalists say feeder channels further upstream could see less stringent water quality standards.

Meanwhile, back at the river, our photographer, Brian Vander Brug, joined the kayakers as they hauled their boats across Owensmouth Avenue in Canoga Park, held a press conference, then entered the river for a 51-mile trip downstream.

Tom Andrews, photographer for LAist, stuck with the group all week long and was there when they reached Long Beach. There they are on Sunday afternoon, pulling their boats from the channel with the Queen Mary in the background.

Seems like a real river does run through it after all. Will the Army Corps of Engineers ever agree?

Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton