L.A. River Expeditions Awards

LA River ExpeditionsLA River Heron

Our original mission was to protect the Los Angeles River via the Clean Water Act by proving its navigability. We defended valuable watershed conservation laws by paddling the 51 miles of the river in canoes and kayaks, from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, on July 25th-27th, 2008. Two years later, in July 2010, our actions proved integral to the Environmental Protection Agency's decision that the entire L.A. River is a "traditional navigable waterway," giving it all the federal protections of a real river.

Since summer 2008, our mission added a second focus: creating guided, safe, recreational-educational canoe and kayak excursions down the more pleasant, soft-bottomed stretches of the LA River. This eventually led to the creation of the Paddle the L.A. River pilot program in 2011, in which we were a key planner, and partner along with a coalition of other groups, including: Los Angeles Conservation Corps, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the City of Los Angeles, the Army Corps of Engineers, The River Project, Urban Semillas and Friends of the LA River. This officially sanctioned 7-week pilot boating program, completed in Sept. 2011, was a first in the history of the Los Angeles River!

In 2012, we successfully completed another season as an official tour operator for that 10-week season. LA River Expeditions ran a sanctioned program that provided an entertaining and indelible learning experience through boating (for more than 500 people) while transforming perceptions about the Los Angeles River, and creating new possibilities for responsible use.

In 2013, we partnered with the eco-minded Electric Lodge to lead trips in the newly opened Glendale Narrows section of the river, as part of the LA River Recreational Zone. This was a first in the history of the LA River and we were pleased to be a leader in that effort, enabling more than 1,000 people to paddle the Los Angeles River in kayaks and to work in concert with other great river revitalization partners like the MRCA (Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority).

In 2014, we continue our boating program partnership with the Electric Lodge as we make it possible for more people to learn about and become stewards of the LA River.

With each journey downriver, we continue to educate participants of all ages, backgrounds and abilities about the history of the river, building environmental stewardship and community leadership, and teaching river safety and paddlesport skills. We are sensitive to nature, in terms of keeping a light footprint and cleaning up garbage wherever we go.

L.A. River Expeditions believes that the more people develop a relationship with the river, the more they will play an active role in its protection and revitalization.

L.A. County and the City of Los Angeles have put forth visions of a sustainable Los Angeles, via their river revitalization master plans, and we are supportive of those plans.  With the EPA’s watershed decision in 2010, L.A. River Expeditions believes we are entering a new, more cooperative and progressive era for the Los Angeles River, in which the public asserts its right to use its local river, and intergovernmental agencies begin to work in sync.

So... keep your fingers crossed while letting your voice be heard! We very much appreciate your support in putting the river back in the Los Angeles River!

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