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#SummerScienceFriday | Life of the LA River Watershed

All over the world, there are conversations happening about how to live more sustainably with nature. Urban areas in particular are working to reintroduce nature as a means to revitalize resources and promote environmental health and resilience. Here in LA County, Council for Watershed health continues to partner with agencies, organizations, and local government to revitalize our rivers, neighborhoods, and watershed health with nature-based projects. Enhancing biodiversity by boosting and creating habitat for native species is always a goal of these projects.

Our Urban Ecosystem

While we often think about nature as being separate from big cities like Los Angeles, the truth is that all urban areas are ecosystems in their own respect and support webs of life. Parks, backyards, streets, and green spaces make up a mosaic of habitat to support plants and animals alike. Just as energy and nutrients are exchanged between lifeforms at multiple scales in a more natural ecosystem, the same is occurring in urban environments. By boosting and creating more habitat for wildlife in urban areas, we support the natural processes that provide people with “ecosystem services" like cleaner air and nutrient rich soil.

Importance of Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a measure of the number and variety of organisms that live in an area. Biodiversity makes ecosystems more resilient to change and increases the number and quality of ecosystem services provided to us. Enhancing biodiversity and promoting equitable distribution of biodiversity throughout the urban ecosystem is critical for creating a healthy and resilient LA watershed. Using this list of native plants and animals, we are reminded of the species that our environment can support and of the need to increase and protect their habitats in a ever-growing urban setting.

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