Los Angeles River
The Los Angeles River has been designated as an important stream for steelhead recover in the Southern steelhead Recovery plan issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 2012. The current state of the river poses many challenges to that recovery. Los Angeles is home to more than 4 million people, which has resulted in a heavily altered watershed through the process of urbanization. The river was channelized in the 1930's by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) to protect homes and business from the river's massive shifts in the alluvial plain on which the City is built. The USACOE efforts encase 80% of the river in concrete and straightened it. The river is now over 50 miles long, running from the San Fernando Valley to the ocean in Long Beach and passes through 14 cities. The Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) and the Council for Watershed Health have led the way in championing revitalization and restoration of the river and have educated many diverse groups about the benefits of restoring the river to its former grandeur. Their efforts along with the various urban fish passage projects currently underway in smaller coastal watersheds may serve as models for the larger scale projects necessary to combat the extensive channel modifications present throughout the Los Angeles River.