Caught on Video: First L.A. River Kayaking Trip after EPA Declares it as 'Navigable'
It's been done before, but not since the federal government officially declared the L.A. River as navigable, thus under the Clean Water Act. So last week river activists George Wolfe, Joe Linton and others took to a eight-mile portion of the river down the Glendale Narrows between Griffith Park and towards downtown for an inaugural trip.
When it was first announced that the waters were navigable, some LAist commenters asked if it was legal to go kayaking or do other recreation in the river. Unfortunately, that's still a murky issue.
With the new designation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, which would normally deny any request to kayak the river, would neither approve or deny a boating permit, awaiting clarification, according to the LA Times, which tagged along for the journey. So Wolfe and his crew took advantage of the "legal gray area" and hit the waters.
Some truly hope the 51-mile river -- or at least large portions of it -- will become a major new recreation spot for Angelenos, but not all see it that way. "Los Angeles has this little hidden treasure which will only grow more popular as it gets discovered and developed as a green space for California residents," photographer Grove Pashley told the Times. "My hope is that its wildlife is protected through thoughtful regulation of any boating or fishing that occurs."
Adds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Mark Toy, who heads up the Los Angeles area: ""The time has come," he said, "to find a balance between flood control, recreation and habitat restoration on this beautiful river."
Previously: How the L.A. River was Saved