Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas James Bolden
RIDLEY-THOMAS TAKES STEPS TO IMPLEMENT COMPTON
CREEK ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION STUDY
LOS ANGELES – Acting on a motion by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the Board of Supervisors today urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to initiate a Compton Creek Ecosystem Restoration study.
Home to more than 700,000 residents, the Compton Creek Watershed drains 42.1 square miles of the Los Angeles River Watershed within the cities of Los Angeles and Compton and the unincorporated Willowbrook.
While a segment of the creek has retained a natural river bottom, the majority of the waterway has been paved with concrete and the surrounding lands have been almost completely developed.
“As a result, recreational opportunities in the surrounding communities and along the creek are limited, water quality is degraded, water conservation opportunities have not been realized, and open space and natural resources, such as plant and wildlife, have been greatly reduced as well,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said in his motion
Illegal dumping and graffiti, he said, have also adversely affected the surrounding community and present an on-going policy challenge, the Supervisor said. Restoring the creek to its natural state, he said, will serve as a valuable educational, recreational, public health and economic asset for the County.
The County Flood Control District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have expressed concern that in the wake of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mandated levee certification program, the Compton Creek levy system must be upgraded or an unmitigated flood risk to the lower reach of the Creek may arise.
The Supervisor asked that copies of the Board letter urging Army Corps of Engineers to initiate a Compton Creek Ecosystem Restoration plan be sent to California Congressional leaders, as well as local elected officials and city managers, whose jurisdictions lie within the Compton Creek Watershed.
“This Plan should incorporate multiple-benefit opportunities, including flood protection, water quality and water conservation improvements, reduction of blight, illegal dumping and non-point source pollution, recreation opportunities and restoration of natural resources,” the Supervisor said.
The Supervisor emphasized that the County Flood Control District, working in partnership with other County agencies, have already established successful planning efforts for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. He urged that the team collaborate to make the Compton Creek project successful as well.
“These efforts have resulted in the successful implementation of key priority projects and have leveraged millions of dollars of investment for multi-use trails, parks, bike paths and other greenway access points on the rivers and in surrounding communities,” the Supervisor said.
The team is expected report back to the Board within 60 days with a description of project management, governance, budget, and a timeline that facilitates inter-agency cooperation and maximize opportunities for soliciting Federal, State and grant funding for the development and implementation of future projects.
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