Catching trash in the L.A. River

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la-river-long-beachThe California State Water Board has awarded $10 million in Stimulus funds to help 16 cities that drain into the LA River capture their trash before it enters the LA River. The funding will be administered by the LA Gateway Region Integrated Regional Water Management Authority (LA Gateway Authority), who will distribute the funds to the 16 cities in the Gateway Region that drain into the Los Angeles River.

The grant will fund trash-collection devices that can be inserted into storm drains to capture trash. The City of Long Beach has successfully installed hundreds of these devices already using other funding sources, proving that the technology works and can be easily implemented.

“The vast majority of the trash that ends up on our beaches is generated by the upstream cities, and these funds will make a huge difference in stopping trash before it even enters the Los Angeles River. This is a great step in the right direction,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

The LA Gateway Authority received the maximum $10 million grant, and this project received nearly a quarter of the total funding available for new urban stormwater projects. The $10 million grant will outfit approximately 3,750 catchbasins, or over 40 percent of the catchbasins that currently dump into the LA River. In an average year, the City of Long Beach picks up more than 3,000 tons of trash deposited on the beach by the LA River.

“I want to wholeheartedly thank the Gateway Cities Council of Government, all of the upstream cities, and our legislative delegation for all coming together to support this regional project that will have such a positive effect on Long Beach,” said City Manager Pat West.

The cities that will receive funding include Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Signal Hill, South Gate and Vernon.

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