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Urban Waters Partnership

Diverse Partners & Brownfields to Healthfields in the LA Watershed

Brownfields to Healthfields and the Los Angeles Urban Waters Partnership

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Investing in Equitable, Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities in the LA River Watershed

The cost and availability of land in the Los Angeles area make projects with community environmental and economic benefits extremely complex. The Urban Waters Partnership in the Los Angeles River Watershed has been working with local agencies and non-governmental stakeholders to develop a suite of planning and financial tools for brownfields and underutilized parcels adjacent to the River to transform depressed neighborhoods into healthy vibrant communities. This creates emerging and innovative opportunities for investors to make a visible difference in the lives of those with greater environmental and economic burdens in the heart of the urban jungle.

LA and B2H at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference

In February 2016, the Los Angeles River Watershed Urban Waters Partnership participated in the National Community Reinvestment Conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Local partnership leaders led a tour of the Los angeles River for conference participants from the financial sector on funding opportunities and partnership projects in LA.

As a parallel effort, EPA's Office of Environmental Justice, EPA Region 9's Brownfields Office and Office of Underground Storage Tanks convened a panel at the conference on Brownfields to Healthfields. The session explored the environmental, health, and economic benefits of the B2H approach through mapping tools, success stories, and the community's vision. It also highlighted opportunities for revitalizing abandoned lands in the Los Angeles River Watershed in ways that transform them for the benefit of overburdened communities living along the river and promote public health. The lower Los Angeles River is flanked by a highway that connects the City of Los Angeles to the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports to the south of the city. Truck and rail traffic along this route is a driver of pollution problems in the area.

View a mapExit of potential land reuse sites in the Los Angeles River Watershed.

 Conference participants walk a bike trail along the Los Angeles River. Conference participants walking on a trail next to the Los Angeles River with the LA Urban Waters Ambassador, Pauline Louie.

Ongoing B2H Efforts   

While continuing to find new partners and sources to fund Urban Waters and Brownfields to Healthfields projects along the lower Los Angeles River, the Urban Waters Partnership in this location is making headway on implementing a plan to create an Active Transportation Route that will connect underserved communities to their places of work. These routes may be bike lanes, which have been requested by community members so they can have better ways to commute to their jobs. The goal of this project is to both reduce traffic and pollution from the roadways along the river and to catalyze demand for more land re-use and revitalization projects in the area.