Mayor Garcia Calls For Update to Long Beach “River Link” plan

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Mayor Robert Garcia - Photo from Facebook

Mayor Robert Garcia – Photo from Facebook

Mayor Robert Garcia has asked the City Council to direct the City Manager to formally update the Long Beach “River Link” plan, which was created to outline the City’s efforts to restore and enhance the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, as well as plans to revitalize the entire length of the River in a collaborative effort with the LA River Revitalization Corporation.

The current iteration of River Link was created in 2007, and more recent developments are not presently included in the plan – most prominently, the efforts of the LA River Revitalization Corporation, which has partnered with Frank Gehry and his associates to explore an integrated vision for the entire 51 miles of the LA River.

Garcia met with Gehry earlier this year to discuss plans for the river.

“The Los Angeles River is one of our City’s most important economic and environmental assets, and it’s important that we continue to work closely with our northern neighbors to revitalize and enhance it for the benefit of Long Beach and of the entire region,” said Garcia. “We’re honored and excited to have Frank Gehry, a true genius, bringing his creativity and expertise into this vital project, and the River Link plan should reflect this profoundly positive development, as well as all the other great work that’s been done over the last 8 years.”

The Mayor’s proposal will appear on the City Council’s agenda August 18, and requests “the City Manager update the Los Angeles River Link Plan for the City of Long Beach and present a new updated plan to the City Council,” and “work with the LA River Revitalization Corporation and other regional partners to coordinate efforts to improve and enhance the entirety of the Los Angeles River and surrounding areas.”

For more than 50 years, the primary purpose of the LA River was flood control. Mayor Garcia notes “an emerging consensus around efforts to reassess the current state of the LA River and to identify enhancements that would benefit our region environmentally and economically through water reclamation, beautification and increasing recreation opportunities.”

Two recent stories in the Los Angeles Times revealed the planned pro bono participation of Gehry and his team in those efforts.

Mayor Garcia wants the City to “undertake a formal, comprehensive update to the plan, reflecting all the work done over the past 8 years, and expanded to include the efforts of the with the LA River Revitalization Corporation and other regional partners to improve and enhance the entirety of the Los Angeles River and its surrounding areas”.

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