Unpave L.A.

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* A July 28 letter accused Unpave L.A. of being insensitive to the flood control needs of the cities adjacent to the lower reaches of the Los Angeles River. This could not be further from the truth. We have no desire to damage property or lives, or to remove the concrete from the Los Angeles River unless and until other proven methods are developed to provide adequate flood protection to everyone living near the river.

Unpave L.A. is a coalition of major environmental groups and others who are concerned, among other things, about the Army Corps of Engineers’ single-purpose response to managing storm water. Pouring more concrete in an effort to control or manage Mother Nature doesn’t always work. The Mississippi Valley has been devastated because folks there have grown dependent on just such engineered solutions.

The answers now being proposed for the Midwest are the same kind of answers that need to be explored here--to find a way to work with nature by restoring wetlands and riparian habitats, and building places that can hold water during flood events. By moving the water out as fast as possible, we only create new dangers while we deprive ourselves of all the benefits that natural systems can provide.


Rather than pour more concrete downstream, we propose to greatly reduce the flow upstream. Downstream flooding is now being projected because the San Fernando Valley has been paved over. Unpave L.A. proposes reducing the paving and increasing the water storage capacity in the Valley.


Co-Chair, Unpave L.A.