15 Nov PUBLIC COMMENTS DUE Monday, Nov 18 for Los Angeles River Ecosystem Study
The public is invited to comment on the US Army Corps of Engineers document, “Los Angeles Ecosystem Restoration Integrated Feasibility Study”. Friends of the Los Angeles River and a coalition of elected officials and environmental groups support the choice of Alternative 20, the most robust habitat plan that removes the most concrete. Currently, the USACE tentatively supports the smaller plan, Alternative 13. Your voice is needed to influence Washington to change their recommendation!
Click HERE to view the full document.
Compose your personal or group comment letter using some text from our template below.
Be sure to share your unique viewpoint on the river and share your expertise.
Please copy us on your final letter at contact @ folar dot org.
Ring the office with questions at 323-223-0585.
View a 2-minute VIDEO showing river aerials and renderings
FoLAR Community Template Comment Letter
Josephine R. Axt, Ph.D.; Chief, Planning Division
Date (letters must be mailed no later than Nov 18)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
P.O. Box 532711
Los Angeles, CA 90053-2325
ATTN: Ms Erin Jones, CESPL-PD-RN
Dear Dr. Axt:
My name is (state your name and describe your background. Include briefly where or how long you’ve lived near the river; how you are connected and use the river; and what the river means to you (passion). Identify your education; profession; expertise. This will establish your knowledge and credibility regarding the personal value of the river area). I represent the (group or self). We are an organization representing (XX) members whose purpose is (XXXX). We are dedicated to creating a better balance of our environment and urban community.
I appreciate the time and efforts the Corps and City have expended to work with the community and prepare the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report, Draft Integrated Feasibility Report. I am thrilled that the Corps and City have worked with us to be on the same side of the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration! I have reviewed the report in detail and I am providing comments in support of Alternative 20 presented in the document. While Alternative 13 has been identified in your study as the Tentatively Selected Plan, I found this alternative to lack the comprehension in key areas essential for adequate ecosystem restoration of the Los Angeles River.
Major concerns are that the following were not adequately recognized in the selection:
- Compatibility with the National initiatives and programs, particularly the President’s American Great Outdoors Initiative and the Urban Waters Public Partnership, that recognize the importance of the LA River to habitats, species, and people
- The richness of this biodiversity hotspot
- The rarity of the region’s Mediterranean climate
- The intense destruction and overdevelopment in the 2nd largest U.S. City
Alternative 20 is far superior to Alternative 13 for the following reasons:
- CHAP is only one tool that should have been used to value the habitat
- Connectivity for wildlife migration, seed dispersal, and hydrology (205% greater than 13)
- Verdugo Wash is critical to providing this connectivity from the LA River to the Verdugo Mountains, Los Feliz Golf Course, and San Gabriel Mountains
- Piggyback Yard includes real restoration with concrete wall removal, creation of wetlands and elevation of the railroad segment to increase hydrologic and wildlife connections
- Cornfields includes real restoration with higher value habitats by terracing the bank and creating freshwater marsh
- Cornfields provides connection to the Elysian Park
- Reduction of distances between the habitat nodes greatly enhances the value
- It is more similar to the ecosystem that historically existed prior to the channel
- The length of area restored is 2 times greater (6.4 miles vs. 3.2)
- More than 3 times the concrete is removed (117,918 cubic yards vs. 36,891)
- Creates 131 more acres of restored habitat (719 vs. 588)
- The habitat restored creates a higher quality of ecosystem because it restores more natural river connections, rather than just culverts or pipes
- More likely to be sustainable and resilient over the life of the project because of the size and added connectivity
- Measures the highest of all alternatives against the 19 performance targets established under the 2 objectives
- Meets the 4 evaluation criteria (effectiveness, completeness, efficiency, acceptability) the most robustly
- The Regional Economic Development analysis shows Alternative 20:
- Provides 7015 more jobs and $386 million more in wages during construction
- Creates 3700 more new jobs and $251 million more in wages for redevelopment over the long term
- Creates 1094 more new permanent jobs valued at $62 million more
- The Other Social Effects analysis shows Alternative 20 with its larger scope will:
- Produce a greater connectivity with the people and communities
- Reach more of the census tracts with high poverty and high minority populations
- Provide more green areas to encourage physical activity
- Provide more green areas to reduce air quality effects
Restoration of the Los Angeles River is crucial to us and our City! The project is worth the added costs because of the added values stated above that were not sufficiently counted in the report comparisons. We urge the Corps and City to select Alternative 20 because it provides the best restoration and the best sustainability for the future.