A meeting was held Oct. 21 in the Duarte Historical Museum near the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, California, to discuss the complex issue of cleaning up the San Gabriel River before the rainy season gets here.
The meeting between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Congresswoman Napolitano’s Office, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Azuza Police Department and the City of Duarte was to figure out a way to clean out the San Gabriel River so everybody represented at the meeting benefitted from a very difficult task.
The project seems simple, just put all the debris in trucks and haul it off. But it isn’t; there are several homeless people and their possessions in encampments throughout the three miles of river below the foothills who must be offered help and given notice to vacate the flood plain. In addition to their being moved to keep them safe, police officers need to add sustainability of their removal and add to their safety when moving in the thick brush. There is also a concern for endangered species and wildlife in the habitat needed to sustain them. The brush also creates a fire hazard with 28 wildfires in this area over the last two years. All of this work costs money, so the congresswoman’s office is trying to manage the short supply of funds and keep the team moving forward.
So how do you get several government entities to reach a complex common goal, which preserves life and civil rights; you have a complex meeting, walk and see the site needed to be cleaned out. Then develop a who-does-what plan to a comprisable solution for all the objectives. These people are on track to ensuring El Nino rains this season flow into the Pacific Ocean without loss of life.