The Los Angeles River has evolved from an uncontrolled, meandering river providing a valuable source of
water for early inhabitants to a major flood protection waterway. Today, in addition to protecting the
Los Angeles Basin from major flooding, it also offers significant opportunities for recreation and aesthetic
improvement for the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
Th Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and other entities have joined in an effort to develop
and maintain these resources. In 1991, after much attention to the River, the Los Angeles County Board
of Supervisors directed the Departments of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Regional Planning to
develop the Los Angeles River Master Plan (LARMP). The LARMP, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 1996,
formulated a multi-objective program for the River while recognizing its primary purpose for flood protection.
The LARMP is overseen by an Advisory Committee of 50 members representing federal, state, city, and local
agencies, and environmental and community groups. The Committee meets on a regular basis, and members are
given the opportunity to review other members' projects. Project reviews are also performed by County
Department of Public Works, the agency that issues construction permits, and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
to ensure that the structural integrity of the Los Angeles River is not compromised.
Completed and upcoming projects, including the development of bikeways, pocket parks, landscaping enhancements,
Earth Day events, the Adopt-a-Riverbank Program, and other community and environmental projects have been reviewed,
supported, and monitored by the Advisory Committee. In the past five years, there have been over 20 projects
completed along the River. The growing awareness with the River has prompted funding for further project
implementation through the passage of Propositions 12 and 13. The 2000-01 State Budget allocated over $85 million
to River-related projects and interests.
The Los Angeles County Drainage Area (LACDA) Project has also been implementing the goals and objectives of the
LARMP for increasing the recreational uses of the Los Angeles River. As part of the LACDA Project, 22 miles of
the existing LARIO bike and equestrian trail along the River are being improved through reconstruction and
enhanced with native landscaping, rest stops, signage, and new striping.
In addition to project implementation, the Advisory Committee has also been actively undertaking the task of
resolving three remaining issues with implementation of the LARMP and subsequent access to the River– long term
maintenance, liability, and security.
The LARMP advocates environmental enhancement, recreational opportunities, and economic development.