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In Brief

Los Angeles River Re-Opens to Public

Los Angeles River at Sixth Street viaduct
The Los Angeles River at the Sixth Street viaduct (Image credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-96818917/stock-photo-sixth-street-viaduct-from-la-river-view-of-sixth-street-bridge-from-within-the-los-angeles-river.html">Los Angeles River image</a> via Shutterstock)

After decades spent entombed in concrete and neglected, a 2.5-mile (4 kilometers) portion of the Los Angeles River has opened for public use from sunup to sundown through Labor Day, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The section of the river may not be quite as scenic as some, as it is still surrounded by concrete embankments and warehouses, but environmental activists and river rafting aficionados seemed to enjoy it all the same. Los Angeles lawyer Steve Schleier kayaked down the newly opened stretch of the river, telling the Times, "Today is like getting your toe in the water for the revitalization of the river."

The 51-mile-long (82 km) river begins in Canoga Park, flows through the San Fernando Valley, past the city of Burbank, through Downtown L.A. and eventually discharges into the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach. Parts of the river were given a fixed course with concrete banks in the 1930s because of devastating floods that hit the city.

Andrea Thompson
Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.