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The LA River Master Plan seeks to create an equitable future along the reimagined river.

Executive Summary

One million people live within one mile of the LA River, and nearly half of Los Angeles County residents live within the river’s watershed. Even more impressively, one out of four Californians lives within a one-hour drive of the river.1Calculated from U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 2012–2016 5-Year Estimates, Table B01001, 2016; U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 TIGER/Line Geodatabase (machine-readable data files), 2016.

Channelized to protect lives and property from flooding during the late-19th through mid-20th centuries and continuing to serve flood-risk management purposes today, the LA River has largely been separated from our social, cultural, and ecological communities. While fragmented jurisdictions, land ownership, and funding present hurdles in rethinking the LA River, the LA River Master Plan seeks to build on prior planning efforts to continue to reimagine the LA River from a single-use corridor to a tangible, multi-benefit resource for the communities of LA County.

The LA River right-of-way includes over 2,300 acres of primarily publicly owned land that can greatly benefit the communities near the river. The Plan recognizes the need for resilient systems that address the most complex issues facing the Los Angeles region, such as climate change, population growth, resource scarcity, and social inequity. These resilient systems are necessary to create 51-miles of connected open space that supports clean water, native habitat, parks, recreation, multiuse trails, art, and cultural resources to improve human and ecosystem health, equity, access, mobility, and economic opportunity for the diverse communities of LA County, while managing flood risk.

The LA River Master Plan seeks to make the reimagined river a reality over the next two and a half decades, connecting people, culture, water, open space, and wildlife across and along this iconic river.

Father and daughter overlook LA River from the ferris wheel at the SELA Arts Festival.
Community members enjoying the ferris wheel at the SELA Arts Festival at river mile 11.7.
OLIN, 2019.

Water and Land Acknowledgment

We gratefully acknowledge that the LA River and its watershed are the traditional, unceded lands of the Fernandeño Tataviam, Gabrieleño Tongva, and Ventureño Chumash. We recognize that Indigenous Peoples have stewarded this land for thousands of years, many of whom still call it home today, and we give thanks for the opportunity to live, work, and learn on their traditional homeland. As settlers and guests, we recognize our responsibility and obligation to include these Tribal Nations in what we do for the river.

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