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The LA River Declared 'Not a River,' But What Does That Mean?

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Kayaking the LA River in Sherman Oaks (more photos here) | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has found the Los Angeles River unnavigable, therefore it is not a river. Critics say it will weaken rules that protect the watershed under the Clean Water Act. "They believe the ripple effect of the decision will make is easier to develop large areas of the Santa Susana, Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains because landowners will not be required to obtain certain federal permits," the LA Times reports. "Some federal and state officials fear that the decision also may undermine rules against discharging wastewater and storm water into the river's tributaries."

However, Corps officials say that's balderdash and they will continue to enforce the Clean Water Act as usual. They also said 3.75 miles of the river is navigable -- two miles at the Sepulveda Dam and 1.75 miles in Long Beach. between the ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway bridge.

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"They're just wrong. That's the simple version of it. We've done kayak trips from the Valley to Long Beach a dozen times in the past 10 years," said poet and writer Lewis MacAdams, founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River, to the LA Times earlier this week.