WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) announced that the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project will receive $28 million in new federal funding under the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. The community-embraced project will restore hundreds of acres of habitat along the river, add trails to connect people with nature and the river, and support equity, environmental justice, and climate resilience for underserved communities that are adjacent to the river.
“The Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project will increase access to green spaces for disadvantaged communities while restoring a significant stretch of the LA River to a natural state,” said Congressman Gomez. “I am pleased to announce $28 million in new federal funding for the project, made possible through the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. This funding serves as a major step forward for our local communities and our environment.”
The announcement comes just weeks after Congressman Gomez led a letter with Senator Alex Padilla and members of the Los Angeles Congressional delegation to urge federal funding for the project. In addition to Rep. Gomez and Sen. Padilla the letter was also signed by Reps. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Judy Chu (CA-27), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Julia Brownley (CA-26), and Brad Sherman (CA-30).
“As a Los Angeles native, I have been proud to support ecological restoration and increased recreational access around the Los Angeles River,” Senator Padilla said. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have reached a major milestone--$28 million in funding to support US Army Corps of Engineers construction work at Taylor Yard. This project is a significant step in expanding access to green space and recreation for thousands of Angelenos, and revitalizing underserved communities along the River.”
“The Los Angeles River is one of our region’s most precious natural resources, which our communities have fought long and hard for years to remediate and revitalize,” said Congressman Schiff. “Now, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure package, a monumental piece of that transformation is one step closer to becoming a reality with the announcement of a park space that Angelenos and their families will be able to enjoy for generations to come. This is a tremendous victory, and I look forward to working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and my riverside constituents on making what’s been a dream for so many of us come true.”
“Over the past two decades the relationship between the residents of Southern California and the Los Angeles River has dramatically changed,” said Congressman Lowenthal. “Thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure act, we can transform a mere flood control channel into a healthy and thriving ecosystem, and new habitat. I applaud this investment in bringing to fruition a restored Los Angeles River that will be a natural treasure for the region.”
“The Army Corps investment in the LA River, is a critical step to restoring and revitalizing the river as an environmental and economic centerpiece for Los Angeles,” said Congresswoman Barragán. “This new funding from the infrastructure bill will bring climate and environmental justice benefits directly to the underserved and communities of color living near the river.”
“From the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, Angelenos know how important the Los Angeles River is to our city and to the ecosystem of plants and animals that have grown to rely on it,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “These $28 million from the Army Corps will help make needed repairs and ensure the river can continue to improve the lives of those who live nearby for decades to come. Ultimately, this funding is another example of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing change to our community.”
“The L.A. River is one of Los Angeles’ crown jewels – a foundational piece of our city’s story. Now, it’s on us to make it shine for ourselves and future generations,” said Mayor Garcetti. “That’s why early on in my first term, I personally lobbied the Army Corps in Washington for the approval of the L.A. River Master Plan. I pushed hard for the passage of Measure M in 2016, which has funded a drastic expansion of the LA Riverway bike path. And in 2017, we acquired the 42-acre G2 parcel, so we can create more open space around the river. This $28 million investment by our federal partners – their largest to date in the river – caps off nearly a decade of progress and investment in our bold vision of the L.A. River’s future. I am deeply grateful to our Los Angeles Congressional delegation, as well as the Biden Administration for this funding, and I look forward to seeing the transformation continue as a lifelong Angeleno.”
“Friends of the LA River is elated to learn our waterway is receiving significant funding as part of our national infrastructure bill,” said Marissa Christiansen, president and CEO of Friends of the LA River (FoLAR). “This appropriation is made possible by strong leadership from LA River Champion, Rep Jimmy Gomez, with support from many of our other local LA congressional representatives showing the nation that the Los Angeles River is an urban river of local, regional, and national importance. FoLAR is eager to see this funding accomplish restoration for a verdant ecosystem that builds climate resiliency in river-adjacent communities.”
“We are pleased to see this critical investment in the Army Corps’ Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project to help enhance habitat and climate resilience,” said Kelsey Jessup, urban conservation project director at The Nature Conservancy in California. “Working together at the L.A. River, we are creating a new model for urban conservation by using vegetated nature-based solutions to increase biodiversity, reconnect urban communities with nature, and help secure Los Angeles’ water future.”
“Los Angeles Waterkeeper applauds the leadership of Congressman Jimmy Gomez and our other Los Angeles congressional representatives for advocating for funding to invest in the resilience of our Los Angeles River under the national infrastructure bill,” said Bruce Reznik, executive director of Los Angeles Waterkeeper. “This is a major step toward restoring the ecological health and resilience of the LA River and expanding access to green spaces for local communities. LA Waterkeeper is thrilled to see the LA River recognized at a national level in light of its longstanding importance to our city and region, and we appreciate seeing funding dedicated to support community-centered, multi-benefit projects that actually prioritize the ecology and climate resiliency of our prized River.”
This funding announcement also follows years of consistent advocacy and engagement for the project by Congressman Gomez.
In June 2020, Rep. Gomez led his Los Angeles colleagues in Congress in requesting $53 million for the public-private partnership-designated restoration project.
In February 2020, Rep. Gomez and colleagues announced a $1.857 million investment by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into this project, the first federal funding for the L.A. River since fiscal year 2017.
In April 2019, Rep. Gomez led his Los Angeles Congressional Delegation colleagues in urging the House Appropriations Committee to allocate $2.73 billion for the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project.
The new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding for the LA River is part of a $14 billion investment in 500 projects across the nation that focuses on strengthening critical supply chains. Due to decades of underinvestment, and accelerating climate threats, supply chains have struggled to keep pace with the strong economic recovery – burdening families and businesses with added costs and delay. These new investments will create jobs and economic opportunity, while strengthening key water infrastructure projects, improving resiliency to the climate crisis and restoring the environment.