Pacific Swell

Southern California environment news and trends

Women's clothing company kicks in almost $1 million for Los Angeles River ecosystem study

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A women’s clothing company is stepping in to help pay for a key study of the Los Angeles River’s ecology. 

The Army Corps of Engineers study, nicknamed  ARBOR (Alternative with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization), was $970,000 short of the $9.7 million needed to proceed. Miss Me clothing has offered just under $1 million to cover the gap. 

Local and federal authorities are supposed to split the study's cost; the city of LA had cobbled together the necessary $4.85 million for its half. But southland politicians and federal authorities had come up short on theirs; that's where the Miss Me clothing donation came in.

Today's announcement highlights the first private-public partnership in the 200-year history of the Army Corps.

The study will look at the soft-bottomed Glendale Narrows for ways to balance the Corps’ priority (flood protection) with local priorities (better water quality) while restoring the ecology of the area. That could mean taking out concrete from the Narrows, a section of the river that’s already got some soft bottoms and recreation potential.

That sound you just heard was thousands of river activists and kayakers swooning at the idea that the channelized LA River could look more like something found in nature.

Miss Me clothing has been around for a decade, with “the single purpose to dress the modern girl who was no longer definable, but multi-dimensional in character and style.”  The LA river’s got its own multiple dimensons too, right? I imagine that 20 years ago companies were far more likely to dump stuff in the LA River than dump money into prettifying it. 

The City of LA’s Bureau of Engineering and the Corps are partners in planning and carrying out the study. They’ll be reporting to the LA city council’s Ad Hoc River Committee what they decide to study and how; the agencies say they’ve been listening to river enthusiasts and activists, what government wonks call “stakeholder groups,” the people who have been telling government what they are interested in seeing in the river, and why.

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