L.A. River Section Open for Recreation for First Time in 80 Years

Photo by L.A. River Expeditions

Photo by L.A. River Expeditions

For the first time in decades, kayakers can explore a 2.5-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River without worrying that they’re breaking the law. This week, a stretch of the river dubbed the Elysian Valley was opened for non-motorized recreation, and people can explore it from Memorial Day to Labor Day without obtaining a permit or paying a fee, CNN reports.

The 51-mile, concrete-lined river, which runs through Los Angeles, is technically an Army Corps of Engineers flood-control channel, and it has been closed to recreation since the Depression era, CNN reports. For decades, the river has been neglected, and American Rivers placed it on the list of the 20 most endangered U.S. rivers a half dozen times in the 1990s. But in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared it “traditional navigable water,” and it was subject to protections under the Clean Water Act.

“After public pressure and leadership from a local councilman and the corps’ commander, officials at several levels of government created the Los Angeles River Pilot Recreation Zone along a lush segment that features tree-lined islands, vistas of the San Gabriel Mountains and abundant wildlife such as herons, egrets, hawks and kingfishers,” say CNN.

Click here for the full CNN report.

Here’s a video of the Los Angeles Kayak Club paddling the L.A. River


To Learn more about paddling the Los Angeles River, visit lariverexpeditions.com, and losangeleskayakclub.com.

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