After eight years of study, the Army Corps of Engineers has finally released its proposal to restore 11 miles of the LA River between Griffith Park and Downtown
. The report considers four options, each with the goal of getting the river flowing again
, "reestablishing riparian strand, freshwater marsh, and aquatic habitat communities and reconnecting the River to major tributaries," while maintaining the river's role in flood control and
providing recreational opportunities. Back in July we learned that the Corps was weighing three options of varying degrees of ambition to do all this, the boldest of which would cost more than $1 billion
. That had the support of the Corps's LA office, and was backed by the City Council
in a vote last month, but was not picked today as the "tentatively selected plan." Instead they went with a much more modest version with an oh-so-sexy name: Alternative 13
--or ACE to its friends.
ACE (ARBOR Corridor Extension) was the least ambitious (and came with the smallest percentage of federal funding) of the three plans laid out in July
, but today's report included on additional even more scaled back, "minimally acceptable" option, which was rejected. Like the others, its primary focus is on environmental restoration (as opposed to fun stuff for us humans) because of the extreme destruction the area has seen. "90 percent of the region's riparian habitat including Valley Foothill riparian habitats and over 95 percent of the region's wetlands including freshwater marsh have been lost. What does remain is largely isolated and no longer connected to surrounding habitat resources."