UPDATE: The deadline for comments has been extended by 2 days. It is now Nov 18.
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finalized preparation of a draft report for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study and posted the report to the Los Angeles District website Sept. 13. The report will appear in the Federal Register Sept. 20, which will trigger a 45-day public comment period that will help inform a final report and result in the Corps’ recommendation to Congress.
The study recommends improvements that would restore ecological value and habitat to the Los Angeles River corridor, from Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles.
The public comment period will officially run from Sept. 20 to Nov. 5, although the email address for comments is already active. Individuals can submit comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The report can be found online at: http://www.spl.usace.army.mil, but a paper copy of the complete report can also be found at local repositories, to include Arroyo Seco Regional Branch Library, Los Angeles Central Library, Cypress Park Branch Library, Atwater Village Branch Library, Lincoln Heights Branch Library, Chinatown Branch Library, Little Tokyo Branch Library, and Benjamin Franklin Branch Library.
The draft report details four action alternatives named 10, 13, 16 and 20, in addition to a no-action alternative, and identifies alternative 13 as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tentatively selected plan, or TSP.
“We are asking for comments on all four alternatives, and the Corps will consider every comment before a final recommendation is made,” said District Commander Col. Kim Colloton. “That is why the selection of an alternative, at this point in the process, is 'tentative.' Transparency and community involvement are vitally important to this effort.”
Colloton said the Corps, City of Los Angeles and stakeholders collaborated to put forward alternatives that would improve the L.A. River ecosystem in a constrained funding environment.
“The number one priority of the study is to restore the river’s ecosystem while preserving the flood protection that is provided by the existing channel system,” Colloton said. “Alternative 13 does this, while restoring 588 acres of valley foothill riparian wildlife habitat and aquatic habitat at a cost of around $453 million.”
The Corps evaluated the four alternatives for costs, benefits and impacts.
“Hundreds of ideas were explored, and the best of these were combined to come up with the final array of alternatives in the draft report,” she said. “After evaluating each alternative, number 13 was selected as the National Ecosystem Restoration Plan that most reasonably maximizes net restoration benefits.”
The 11-mile stretch of river that is the focus of the study exits in the nation’s second largest urban region, and improvements have the ability to positively impact millions of people, as well as the flora and fauna.
Colloton said, “We and our partners have put tremendous effort into developing the alternatives, and we appreciate any and all comments.”