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LOS ANGELES COUNTY WATERSHEDS: Entities with Jurisdiction or Interest In or Adjacent to the Rivers


Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) - Responsible for administering the Clean Water Act. Exercises authority through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which oversees discharges from both point sources, such as from business and industry, sewage treatment plants, and non-point sources such as urban runoff. EPA delegates to the states to certify that permitted actions are consistent with the Clean Water Act. Supports environmental enhancement programs and projects.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - Provides flood insurance to jurisdictions that meet the criteria for participation in their program. The program was initiated to encourage better flood plain management and reduce damaged in flood-prone areas.

National Marine Fisheries Service - The National Marine Fisheries Services operates under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mission includes the conservation and management of living marine resources. Activities focus on the coastal zone and estuaries.

National Park Service - The National Park Service operates under the U.S. Department of the Interior. Has jurisdiction over lands within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area which includes portions of the upper watersheds of some Los Angeles River tributaries. Through the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), provides technical assistance to local citizen groups and agencies for river planning projects.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers  - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates under the U.S. Department of Defense. In conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, owns, operates and maintains the flood control system of the county, which includes the Los Angeles River and its tributaries. The Corps is the primary federal agency regulating wetlands (Clean Water Act, Section 404), although EPA has oversight responsibilities.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation - The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation mission is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. Through leadership and the use of technical expertise, the Bureau seeks to protect local economies and preserve natural resources and ecosystems through the effective use of water in the American West.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates under the U.S. Department of the Interior. Responsible for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish and wildlife and their habitats. Major responsibilities are for migratory birds, candidate species, endangered species, some marine mammals, and freshwater and anadromous fish. Provides technical assistance to agencies for wildlife management, funding for wetlands acquisition, acquisition of areas for protection of migratory birds.

U.S.Forest Service - The U.S. Forest Service operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Has jurisdiction over the Angeles National Forest which includes portions of the upper watershed of the Los Angeles River. Manages the resources of the national forest. Supports environmental enhancement and urban forestry programs.

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service - The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It provides guidance and technical assistance to individuals, cities and counties for conservation of nonfederal lands through Resource Conservation Districts. They provide leadership in partnership efforts to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. Programs include Emergency Watershed Protection, Environmental Quality Incentives, Resource Conservation and Development, Soil Survey Programs, Soil and Water Conservation Assistance, Watershed Protection, River Basin, and Flood Operations, Wetlands Reserve & Wildlife Habitat Incentives


California Bay-Delta Authority  - A cooperative of more than 33 state and federal agencies. Their mission is to develop and implement a long-term comprehensive plan that will restore ecological health and improve water management for beneficial uses of the Bay-Delta. Their Watershed Program aims to achieve the overarching goal of the program by working with the community at a watershed level and promoting collaboration and integration among community based watershed efforts.

CA Coastal Commission - California Coastal Act of 1976 mandates the Coastal Commission to protect marine and coastal resources, promote coastal conservation, regulate coastal development and act as the designated coastal zone management agency under federal law. Generally has jurisdiction over the mouth or estuary areas of rivers and streams.

Cal/EPA - Cal/EPA's mission is to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality. The departments under their umbrella include: Air Resources Board, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Integrated Waste Management Board, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the Water Resources Control Board.
Conservancies Operate under the aegis of the Resources Agency to facilitate public and private initiatives to preserve, rehabilitate and protect natural systems through programs of land acquisition and grants. Examples are the Coastal Conservancy, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.  The Coastal Conservancy is uniquely important in that they fund critical studies so often required prior to acquisitions and project development.

Department of Fish and Game - Has jurisdiction over, and responsibility for, resident and anadromous fish resources in all rivers and streams of the state, and also for wildlife resources which use adjacent riparian habitat. Is responsible for administering provisions of the state Endangered Species Act.

Department of Parks and Recreation - Mission is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by acquiring and protecting the state's most valued natural and cultural resources and by providing opportunities for high quality recreational experience. Currently own and manage State Parks throughout the upper watersheds and urban sites such as Taylor Yard, the Cornfield and Baldwin Hills.

Department of Transportation (Caltrans) - Responsible for the construction and operation of the State Highway system and for the numerous bridges crossing the Los Angeles River. Several routes (5, 710, 605) parallel rivers in the county.

Department of Water Resources - Responsible for formulating coordinated statewide plans for the control, conservation, protection, enhancement and use of state water resources.

Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) - Acts as the agent of the State Water Resources Control Board and the Environmental Protection Agency, issuing waste discharge permits. The RWQCB develops and implements the Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan) that 1) designates beneficial uses for surface and ground waters, 2) sets narrative and numerical objectives that must be attained or maintained to protect the designated beneficial uses and conform to the state's antidegradation policy, and 3) describes implementation programs to protect all waters in the Region. RWQCB also monitors water quality in the Los Angeles River.

State Lands Commission - The State of California owns and administers several different types of interests in rivers and streams within the state's borders by virtue of being the sovereign representative of the people. Types of jurisdiction and interest can include sovereign fee ownership, easements, navigational rights, right to abate nuisance, and access.

Wildlife Conservation Board - The Wildlife Conservation Board, while a part of the California Department of Fish and Game, is a separate and independent Board with authority and funding to carry out an acquisition and development program for wildlife conservation.

Los Angeles Region

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors - Elected to administer the county government including all county agencies with jurisdiction over the river, including County Public Works.

County Counsel - Reviews and approves any legal documents affecting county agencies.

Department of Parks and Recreation  - Operates Whittier Narrows Park, other County Parks and the Lario equestrian trail on land owned by the Department of Public Works, along the river from Whittier Narrows to Long Beach.

Department of Public Works - In conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, owns, operates and maintains the flood control system and its easements throughout the county, which includes the Rivers and their tributaries. Their Watershed Management Division manages the various river master plans and works on broader watershed issues.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority  - Owns railroad rights-of-way adjacent to the river. Directs some funding for bikeway projects.

Museum of Natural History - Conducted study "Biota of the Los Angeles River" in 1993, and is a resource regarding the natural resources of the watershed.

Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) - Owns some railroad rights-of-way adjacent to the river.

Vector Control District - Responsible for protecting the public from mosquito infestation. Accountable to a Board of Trustees comprised of one representative from each of the cities served by the District.