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How the L.A. River was Saved

Photos of Heather Wylie on LAist led to trouble for her and her bosses, but they were also used in a federal document to support the L.A. River under the Clean Water Act | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist
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Sometimes a little civil disobedience goes a long way. When it was announced by the Environmental Protection Agency last week that the Los Angeles River was considered "traditional navigable waters," it meant that it and the streams and channels that flow into it are protected under the Clean Water Act.

What helped the EPA make their decision? A trip Heather Wylie instigated, which Hector Tobar at the LA Times writes about today. She then worked for the Army Corp of Engineers and became a whistleblower of sorts. Her bosses did not want to classify the L.A. River as navigable, but she leaked information to environmental law firms and also reached out to river activist George Wolfe.