AirTalk for August 29, 2014

Next huge Los Angeles restoration: The Arroyo Seco watershed?

Arroyo Seco passes under Highway 134

Christopher Okula/KPCC

The Arroyo Seco seasonal river fills with water from a passing storm system in Pasadena, Calif., Feb. 19, 2013. The river is seen here coursing beneath California State Route 134.

Could the Arroyo Seco watershed be restored? For now, renewal is planned for where the Arroyo and LA River converge as part of the billion-dollar restoration plan for the LA River.

But what about the rest of the Arroyo Seco watershed - which spreads from the San Gabriel mountains to downtown Los Angeles? As it turns out, a study by the United States Army Corps of Engineers is currently being conducted with focus on one of its main missions: ecosystem restoration. The Army Corps recognizes how much was lost when rivers were channelized says Dr. Josephine Axt, Chief of Planning for the Los Angeles District of Army Corps of Engineers, and now she says, they want to be “creative with concrete” by bringing a 21st century sensibility intersecting engineering and ecology.

Teddy Roosevelt would likely be excited by the prospect. The story goes, when he visited the watershed in 1911 he said, “This Arroyo would make one of the greatest parks in the world.” What might be the immediate future of the Arroyo Seco?  

Guest: 

Tim Brick, Managing Director of the Arroyo Seco Foundation

Dr. Josephine Axt, Chief of Planning division for the Los Angeles District Army Corps of Engineers


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