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  River Projects: Community Waterfronts


Many cities in the United States have rivers running through them that have been degraded over decades by industrial use, urban non-point pollution, urban flood control projects, and general neglect. In recent years, local groups have been rediscovering these rivers and developing ways to reclaim them as valued natural assets for their urban neighbors. The Rivers & Trails program is supporting these community based efforts to restore and revitalize urban rivers by providing technical assistance and celebrations of urban river work at the local level and through the development of educational materials.

examples

resources

 

Examples:

Los Angeles Riverwalk Opens

Los Feliz Gateway Provides Access to Popular River Access Point ( July 10, 1999) - Over 100 people celebrated the opening of the one-mile Los Feliz section of the Los Angeles Riverwalk, providing the first official access to one of the most popular river access points in Los Angeles County. Before construction of the riverwalk, people used to cut the chain link fence to gain access to the Los Angeles River. Now, a magnificent arched gateway, river rock walls, and broad steps lead up to the riverwalk which is furnished with benches, a picnic table and a wayside exhibit interpreting the 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. This trail follows the route of Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza to the San Francisco Bay. Numerous partners helped develop the riverwalk including several offices of the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and North East Trees, a local non-profit who designed and constructed the riverwalk and gateway with help from local landscape architects and artists. Funding for the riverwalk and interpretive sign was provided by a National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Grant and Los Angeles County park bond funds. Between 1991 and 1996, the National Park Service's Rivers & Trails program helped local citizens and agencies develop the Los Angeles River Master Plan, which proposed the Los Angeles Riverwalk as a demonstration project.

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Jordan River Navigational Hazards Removed

Community partners work to secure safe passage for recreational boaters
Salt Lake City, UT (July 24, 2002) - The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program in partnership with Great Salt Lake Audubon, SPLORE Recreation Outfitters, and AmericaCorps volunteers removed two flood debris jams on the Jordan River which opened up three miles of river to recreational boaters. RTCA helped to supervise volunteers and lead removal efforts. All told, four trees, two railroad ties, and an assortment of garbage was pulled from the river. This particular reach of the Jordan is used by SPLORE, a nonprofit organization that provides outdoor recreation opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

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Resources:

American Rivers: Community Riverfronts

American Heritage Rivers Initiative: NPS is one of two dozen federal agencies supporting the 14 American Heritage Rivers designated in 1998. Through its RTCA program, NPS has provided technical assistance to site-specific projects on many of the rivers and also represents the Service on the AHRI Working Group under the President's Council on Environmental Quality. The Service has also provided direct finanacial support for two of the River Navigators, for the Potomac River and Rio Grande.

Riverwork Book ( 13 MB) Local river conservation planning efforts in a step-by-step format.

Center for Watershed Protection

Report: Voyage of Recovery-- Fostering a Missouri River Renaissance

River of Renewal: A Vision for Reconnecting Communiites to a Living Upper Mississippi River (click on pdf)

Waterfront Center

Waterfront Regeneration Trust

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