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The L.A. River is Declared Navigable by Feds

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River activist George Wolfe navigates the L.A. River through a small rapid (see more photos here, here and here) | Photo by Tom Andrews/LAist

Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced that the Los Angeles River -- the entire 51 miles of it plus some tributaries like the Compton Creek -- is navigable.

Why is that big news?

"This is very important, because navigability is one of the conditions that assures that a river and its tributaries will be protected by the 1972 Clean Water Act," explains Joe Linton, who follows L.A. River issues on his blog. "That law can be summarized as stating that all our nation’s waters will be swimable and fishable - which is to say, safe for humans and for wildlife."