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Access to the Dominguez Channel walk way is often by bicycle, so we read this recent email from Jordann Turner at the City of Los Angeles with interest.

It arrived as a PDF, but for your reading pleasure we’ve converted it via OCR to postable text. There may be some errors/typos as a result.

September 24,2009
To all Interested Patties:
The City of Los Angeles is pleased to release the draft 2009 Los Angeles Bicycle Plan. This proposed Bicycle Plan is a result of extensive fieldwork, public/community input-including public meetings, mail-in comment cards, the online comment page from the project’s website and routes  submitted via web-based mapping services-as well as a review of the network recommended in the current Bicycle Plan….

There’s more below, but the important thing to note is the deadline for submission of comments of November 6.

Bike paths along the Channel would be Class I – …areas with available right-of-way, usually along flood control channels, utility corridors or through open spaces where the implementation of a bicycle path can provide access to destinations and/or enhance the continuity of the broader bikeway network.[my extra emphasis]

But there is no “broader bikeway network”! Page 19 of 22 in the report shows the bikeway designations for the upper Dominguez Channel. From 120th st near Hawthorne airport south to El Camino College / Alondra Park is designated as an existing bike path, however doesn’t connect to anything and is balkanized by major arterial streets (not shown on map). We’ve commented on this before.

Another very short segment of designated bike lane exists on the map between Garden Willows (near the W end of the 91 freeway). Connections are shown to several potential bike lanes. Timelines are difficult to ascertain, but the vibe I’m getting is that these bike lanes of the future will always be bike lanes of the future.

Then there’s nothing. All the rest of the remaining way to the harbor.

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This just received on email and specific to Hawthorne residents.  Hawthorne is in the Dominguez Watershed.  However, the Surfrider Foundation offers a general program similar to this one for other communities.  See http://oceanfriendlygardens.blogspot.com/

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program
“Be a part of the solution, not the pollution”

1. The concept – Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) & parkways utilize CPR© for the garden to prevent wet & dry-weather runoff:

• Conservation of (a) water, (b) fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides (water pollutants), (c) energy (moving water around the state is the #1 user of electricity), (d) and gas-powered machinery (air pollutants) through use of native & and climate adapted plants.
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An email from one of our members:

I went to the opening festivities and tours of the newly opened Bixby Marshland in Carson (it’s on the west side of Figueroa, just south of Sepulveda). This is one of the most impressive of the local habitat restorations, landscaped by WRA and maintained by the County of Los Angeles Sanitation District. It has a lot of ideas for our future projects. It will be open to the public every first Saturday of the month form 8 a.m. to 12 noon. See their website at
http://www.lacsd.org/about/wastewater_facilities/jwpcp/bixbymarshland.asp

Below is an email announcing a Sept 19th cleanup in the Dominguez Watershed (and related fundraising activities) sponsored locally by Adopt a Stormdrain Foundation and area-wide by Heal The Bay as part of Coastal Cleanup Day.

The mission statement from Adopt a Stormdrain seems right in line with ours.

Adopt a Stormdrain Foundation
1218 El Prado Ave. Suite #128, Torrance, CA 90502

Coastal Clean up Day September 19, 2009
Along the Dominguez Channel

9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

LA City/Carson/Torrance/Harbor City Site = 91 Freeway/Artesia Transit Center

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Great news: Back in April we submitted a proposal to restore upland native plants along the Dominguez Channel and do some related community education and outreach.  Our proposal was accepted and funded!

We had asked for $30k and we were funded at $22k, so we have some additional work to do on the budget before we start.  Today we met to focus on that task and draw up a list of actions and we’re optimistic about completing everything that we promised.

Of course we’ll keep all of you in blog land updated right here, but a better way to stay in touch is to join the Friends / Amigos of Dominguez Watershed email list.

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We do.  And at least in the abstract the County of LA does as well.  They’ve documented the Dominguez watershed online.  See:
http://dpw.lacounty.gov/wmd/watershed/dc/photos/watershed.cfm

We hope to do a little better in the coming weeks.

One of the Dominguez issues that I became aware of recently is that there is no overall DW governing authority that has a holistic vision.  This seems well-reflected in the Future Growth link on the County site which says it is “coming soon”.  Memory says that it’s been “coming soon” for years.  Our goal is to work within the system to change that.

There are undoubtedly more interested parties and stakeholders out there, but perhaps they aren’t aware of one another or in communication.  If you’re one of them, please join us as we try to focus a lens on watershed issues that bear directly on quality of life, access to and promotion of nature and recreation, and freedom of movement along the watershed corridors.

Our guiding concepts are necessarily vague at this point, but there’s plenty of work to go around.  One commonality of purpose is that we’ve found ourselves buying in to a “waves to willows” concept of access and watershed renewal which borrows the best successes from other regions’ watershed projects.

To get oriented on the DW, there’s a good (short) general synopsis of the overall geographical extent of the DW under the Current Conditions link, which is quoted below.

Today, the Dominguez Watershed is comprised of approximately 110 square miles of land in the southern portion of Los Angeles County. 96% of its total area is developed and the overall watershed land use is predominantly residential. Rather than being defined by the natural topography of its drainage area, the Dominguez watershed boundary is defined by a complex network of storm drains and smaller flood control channels. The Dominguez Channel extends from the Los Angeles International Airport to the Los Angeles Harbor and drains large if not all portions of the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Gardena, Lawndale, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Carson and Los Angeles. The remaining land areas within the watershed drain to several debris basins and lakes or directly to the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Getting more personally oriented will be the business of the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!