Long Beach to Receive $1 Million Grant for DeForest Wetlands Restoration

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wilderness $1 Million Rivers and Mountains Conservancy Grant for Deforest The DeForest Wetlands Restoration secured the last piece of funding needed to complete the project when the Board of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC) authorized a $1 million grant last month.

The grant secures the total project funding of $7 million required to restore the 34-acre flood detention basin through planting native flora, and creating trails, overlooks and interpretive displays. The project will improve water quality while retaining flood control properties to create a river parkway along the lower Los Angeles River.

In addition, the project will connect the Dominguez Gap Wetlands project to the south and DeForest Park to the north, providing over 90 acres and direct public access to the 51-mile Lower Los Angeles River Parkway Bike Trail.

“I would like to thank the Board of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy for authorizing this funding. This wonderful partnership will have a positive impact on this area for many years to come,” said Councilwoman Rae Gabelich, who represents the 8th District.

“Our community will be thrilled to know that we now have the ability to move forward with this very exciting project. Residents for generations to come will be able to enjoy the beauty and recreational amenities of this restored wetlands area,” said Long Beach City Councilmember Steven Neal, who represents the 9th District.

The DeForest Wetlands are located along the lower Los Angeles River, south of DeForest Park to Del Amo Boulevard and are bisected by Long Beach Boulevard. The project design is 60 percent complete, with construction expected to start in summer 2011.

Since 2004, the City of Long Beach has worked to gain public support, secure funding, coordinate with Los Angeles County and prepare construction plans for the project. Other funds that have been secured include a $2.5 million California Resources Agency grant announced last month; $1,217,593 from the California Coastal Conservancy; and $2.5 million from Los Angeles County Prop A River Fund/Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

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