Press Releases

Rep. Roybal-Allard and Other Members of L.A. Congressional Delegation Urge Funding for L.A. River Restoration

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Washington, March 19, 2015 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Today, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28), and 11 additional members of the Los Angeles Area Congressional Delegation sent a letter urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide at least $122 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fiscal Year 2016 for ongoing ecosystem restoration project studies across the nation, including one related to the Los Angeles River.

“For years, I have been privileged to fight for funding to revitalize the L.A. River,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard.  “We need to keep funding this important work until the River is fully rejuvenated.  When this project is complete, we will have a beautiful, verdant river ecosystem running through our city, a cleaner environment for nearby neighborhoods, and bright new open spaces for Angelenos of all ages.”

“Restoring the L.A. River will boost our local economy, strengthen our communities, and give new life to the river’s ecosystem,”
said Congressman Becerra.  “We must continue making federal investments to support this critical project for all Angelenos. Let’s keep working on making this future landmark a reality.”

“It’s essential that we include funding for the L.A. River project in our budget so we can move the project forward,”
said Congressman Schiff.  “By increasing funding for the Army Corps, it’s our hope that they will continue development of the L.A. River and make that a priority this year.  Returning the river to its natural prominence and beauty will take time, and that’s why it’s critical that we give the Corps the necessary resources so that together we can provide Angelenos the green space they desire and deserve.” 

“We're working to free the Los Angeles River from its concrete straightjacket and restore the river to its natural beauty,”
said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  “Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, we're at a critical moment where we will comprehensively transform the river, creating miles of open space within our dense urban area and bringing new life to the neighborhoods around it.”

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Chairman Simpson and Ranking Member Kaptur:

As you prepare your Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations bill, we strongly urge you to provide at least $122 million for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Investigations account to support ongoing Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project studies and preconstruction engineering and design activities. Our request is consistent with the Fiscal Year 2015 enacted level funding. This year, President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget only requests $97 million for this overall account, and we have concerns that it does not reflect nor address the scope of funding necessary to complete pending studies for these kinds of projects. In the past, the Committee has echoed similar concerns and increased funding for this account accordingly.

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration is one of the most important aspects of the Corps’ mission. Many of our nation’s once pristine waterways are damaged and distressed, not only affecting our ecological health, but also those who live in the surrounding areas. By working to restore these neglected ecosystems to their original condition, we can protect our natural resources, promote environmental sustainability, and spur local economic and job growth around these spaces.

From our nation’s heartland all the way to Los Angeles, our lands and waters are truly breathtaking. All Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy and take pride in the stewardship of the environment. A commitment to providing additional funds for ongoing studies reflects the importance of bringing good ecosystem restoration projects from concept to reality. These studies help inform decisions regarding feasibility, local impact, and construction design preparation. While we understand that difficult budget decisions must be made, it’s imperative that these studies be completed to lay the groundwork for future projects.  

As such, we respectfully urge you to provide at least $122 million in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2016 Investigations account including additional support for ongoing Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project studies and preconstruction engineering and design activities. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Karen Bass
Rep. Julia Brownley 
Rep. Tony Cárdenas 
Rep. Judy Chu 
Rep. Janice Hahn
Rep. Ted Lieu
Rep. Alan Lowenthal
Rep. Linda Sánchez
Rep. Loretta Sanchez
Rep. Brad Sherman 
Rep. Maxine Waters

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