Each Memorial Day marks the beginning of the LA River recreation season and the beginning of LA River monitoring for Council for Watershed Health (CWH). Inspired by the need to educate and engage Angelenos with the watershed, our #SummerScienceFriday blog series runs through our monitoring season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This year marks the twelfth monitoring season for CWH and the third year of our community engagement initiative #SummerScienceFridays! We hope you will stay tuned all summer as we connect communities to their watershed and empower them to take action toward stewardship.
The Los Angeles River Watershed Monitoring Program (LARWMP)
Here we are again, ushering in a new LARWMP monitoring season! We have been here before and although not much is new (except State Water Board's mandated Trash Assessments), every LARWMP season is exciting and the information we collect continues to be more pivotal to managing the health of the watershed. For the last 12 years, CWH’s Science Team has collected water samples at recreational sites and reported on the health of Los Angeles River Watershed (LARW). With support from the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment, the City of Burbank, Burbank Public Works, and LARWMP’s technical stakeholders, LARWMP collects data to inform our foundational understanding of the health of the LARW. For the last decade, this continuous monitoring effort has provided the necessary information to identify trends across the watershed, to inform better decisions, stronger planning efforts, and better-informed outreach and education about the health of the river, including how to use it safely.
Monitoring data is important because it helps us understand how the river is responding to a complex web of pressures ranging from pollution, human alteration, to drought and climate change.
As part of the “Safe to Recreate” portion of LARWMP, CWH collects water samples during the LA River recreation season from Memorial to Labor Day. The water samples are used to monitor the E. Coli concentrations at regulated and unregulated recreation sites during hig