GOOD

How to Paddle the Los Angeles River

Starting in July, a new program might allow kayak trips along the L.A. River. But it needs public support to make it happen. Here's how you can help.

We were among the voices that cheered last year as the Federal Environmental Protection Agency overruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and declared the whole Los Angeles River navigable and protected by the Clean Water Act. But according to environmentalists, that was only half the battle. "The Clean Water Act was about protecting the water and the watershed, but it didn’t address the issue of public access to the river," says George Wolfe.


Wolfe is known to some of us as George the Commuter, who kayaked his way down the L.A. River to work in 2008 and captured it on YouTube. Despite repeated instances of people navigating the 52-mile stretch of the river, the question of who gets access to the river is still very murky territory. Wolfe says that there is still a lot of hesitation when it comes to opening up L.A.'s waterway to its public. Now the public has a chance to show its support for opening up access to the river.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ro__HhM_3I

This July, Wolfe’s LA River Expeditions might be granted the ability to work with Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, and other partners, in running the pilot boating program within the boundaries of the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin, a three-mile stretch in Encino. If approved, ten to twelve prospective kayakers at a time will be let onto the river for a tentative fee of $50 each. Guides who are also park rangers for the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, all trained in search and water rescue techniques, will accompany groups "to provide the safety element so that the program can be approved and be successful," says Walt Young, chief park ranger.

The program is currently open for public comment, and needs your voice in order to be approved. Show your support by sending an email to the Army Corps addressed to Lisa Sandoval, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at lisa.m.sandoval[at]usace[dot]army[dot]mil by Thursday, June 30 at 5:00 p.m. Wolfe says that a final decision on being granted a permit might be known in early July. In the meantime, you can sign up for an LA River Expeditions trip and be the first to know when the excursions are approved.

Live in Los Angeles? Join GOOD LA and you'll get one good L.A. story (like this one!) in your mailbox each day. You can also follow GOOD LA on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo by Peter Bennett

Articles
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less
promo-homepage

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics