The Los Angeles River - Management

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Ownership of the Los Angeles River has had a long history - currently there are four agencies who hold easement and/or provide services related to the river and adjacent land.

Who OWNS the Los Angeles River?  According to The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) website:

  • The Los Angeles County Flood Control District holds an easement over the river and the roadway adjacent to it on both sides for flood control purposes. 
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides flood control operations and maintenance services in the river. 
  • The city of Los Angeles possesses rights to the river’s water. 
  • The MRCA owns and manages parks along the river. 
    • The MRCA administers the L.A. River Recreation Zone in the Elysian Valley and Sepulveda Basin
    • Including permission for kayaking, and fishing in the river in the designated zones during favorable conditions in the summer.

HOWEVER, the history of ownership is detailed here: 

Natural History: Basin Formation, River Hydrology, and Native Species – LA River Master Plan

"The general course of the LA River as it is known today, starting in the San Fernando Valley and discharging into the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, emerged in 1825 when a massive flood cut a channel across the existing plain of wetlands and forest"


The Governing Board of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority holds regular telephonic meetings at 10:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Members of the public are able to join in person, via Zoom, or call into the conference.  Details of the February 7th meeting & agenda are here: Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority - Meeting Information (civicweb.net)

View Meeting Details

Visit the Meetings page to view MRCA meetings and documents.

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Our CivicWeb Portal has a built in search function that allows you to enter keywords and search for documents related to your keywords. This is especially useful when looking for a specific document, such as an ordinance.

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