Group to Kayak LA River Today through Sunday
A father and son kayak in the LA River in August, 2007, in Sherman Oaks (story and photos here) | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist
This afternoon in Canoga Park, 12 kayakers are going to begin a 51-mile, three-day journey down the LA River to Long Beach. They have no permit to enter the river, but that's part of the point. The Army Corps of Engineers caused a stir in the community last month when they declared that the Los Angeles River was not, in fact, a river because it was not navigable, save for two spots.
Many people including politicians, community members, environmentalists and George Wolfe, Editor of the LaLa Times and the leader of today's expedition, said this is detrimental to the city. "We’re here to defend the right of the people of Los Angeles to use their own river. The city was founded where it is precisely because of the river," Wolfe explains noting that this weekend's expedition takes the stance that "public trust law in California contains certain inalienable rights of access to the waters of the U.S., and that these time-honored, common sense laws supercede all bureaucratic misgivings, justifications and obfuscations regarding the denial of our request."
Wolfe wanted to do this trip a year ago, but was denied permits. So he did it anyway before being ousted by police. As for this trip, once again, no permits were granted and, once again, he is still going on with it.