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Want to paddle the LA River this summer? Tell the Army Corps by April 25



Opening LA river access widely to the public has been the work of nonprofits and government agencies for years. In 2011, activists were first permitted to lead pilot trips down the river, here shown around the Sepulveda Basin seciton.
Opening LA river access widely to the public has been the work of nonprofits and government agencies for years. In 2011, activists were first permitted to lead pilot trips down the river, here shown around the Sepulveda Basin seciton.
Molly Peterson/KPCC
Opening LA river access widely to the public has been the work of nonprofits and government agencies for years. In 2011, activists were first permitted to lead pilot trips down the river, here shown around the Sepulveda Basin seciton.
The city of LA has long backed efforts to open the Los Angeles River to the public. In a pilot trip in 2011, city officials told kayakers about the history of the river, its value to flood control, and its pollution.
Molly Peterson/KPCC


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The Army Corps of Engineers has unveiled new details about a summer recreational zone proposed for the Los Angeles River at the Sepulveda Basin. The plan’s a potential expansion for public access.

From sunrise to sunset, between Memorial Day and mid-September, the Army Corps wants to offer guided and unguided access for non-motorized boats in the area of the Sepulveda Basin. You could put in a kayak at Balboa Boulevard bridge, and hop out downriver at another bridge at Burbank Boulevard.

At first, the Corps would issue licenses to nonprofit organizations for the duration of the season, with separate short-term or one-time licenses available to individuals or social groups who want to take their own boats out. If the program continues, the government would find a nonprofit vendor for paddling trips, and may allow commercial vendors after the 2014 season, according to the public notice

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority would manage the recreation zone. Birdwatching and fishing would also be permitted activities, but the river would remain off limits for swimming or motorboats.

The proposed zone is separate from the one at Glendale Narrows, the site of a pilot project last summer. The MRCA is also managing that area of the river, and has put out requests for proposals from kayak rental operators to offer services along that stretch of the river this summer. 

Right now the Los Angeles District of the Army Corps of Engineers is writing up an environmental assessment for the project. The Army Corps is seeking public comment on the proposal between now and April 25th.

You want to tell the Corps what you think? Send e-mail to Lisa Sandoval with the USACE, Los Angeles District, lisa.m.sandoval@usace.army.mil