L.A. River reopens for recreational activities

Staff and Wire Reports

LOS ANGELES — With the COVID-19 pandemic receding, two stretches of the Los Angeles River will reopen on Memorial Day for recreational activities such as fishing, walking and kayaking, city officials announced May 24.

At long last, more people can learn about and enjoy our beloved Los Angeles River once more,” said City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who chairs the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, & River Committee, in a statement. “I know many of my constituents have been looking forward to this opportunity. Count me among you. I encourage all Angelenos to take part in this one-of-a-kind recreational experience.”

Beginning May 31 and continuing through Sept. 30, two designated recreation zones in the Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin will be open daily, from sunrise to sunset. Both zones will be managed and patrolled by rangers from the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority.

The zones provide safe, equitable public access and recreational opportunities that help make the river one of the most unique open spaces in Los Angeles. In years past, thousands of Angelenos have used the zones to kayak, fish, bird watch, and take a stroll on a river-adjacent path.

City officials said visitors must follow all current public health directives due to the COVID-10 pandemic, and signs will be posted with details.

“The Sepulveda Basin and Los Angeles River offer a much needed opportunity for Angelenos and our Valley families to relax and have fun outdoors,” said City Council President Nury Martinez. “I look forward to welcoming people back to this incredible natural amenity.”

LA Sanitation & Environment also will operate visual “water quality beacons” to keep visitors apprised of conditions in the river. The signs will light green for “safe,” yellow for “safe, but take precautions” and red for “do not kayak.” A blinking red light will indicate the recreation area is closed for reasons other than water quality.

The Los Angeles River is a key waterway in the city of Los Angeles, crucial to a healthy environment, biodiversity and our own sense of place and pride,” said Traci Minamide, chief operating officer of L.A. Sanitation department.

While kayaking and fishing are permitted, swimming is prohibited in the river.

A limited number of vendors will be at the recreation areas to provide guided tours and kayak rentals.

More detailed information, along with parking details, is available at http://lariverrecreation.org.

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