From there the river flows east through a concrete flood control channel and very soon receives Browns Canyon Wash , which flows south from the Santa Susana Mountains. The river then bends slightly south and receives Aliso Canyon Wash , whose watershed adjoins that of Browns Canyon. The river then flows through the district of Winnetka , then Reseda and enters the Sepulveda Basin, a flood-control reservoir formed by the Sepulveda Dam.
As the river proceeds into the usually-dry reservoir, it spills out into a channel that is similar to its historical, unchannelized form. It flows again into a concrete channel and crosses under Interstate as it passes through Van Nuys , Sherman Oaks , and Studio City , still flowing east. Highway briefly, it then veers southeast, away from the highway, and receives from the left the Tujunga Wash , one of its largest tributaries, which flows southwest and south from the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Unlike most of the river, this stretch has an earthen bottom. It then crosses under Interstate 5 and makes a sharp bend to the south-southeast as it curves around Griffith Park. Here, the river begins to flow over a natural riverbed, but enters another concrete section soon after.
Paralleling Interstate 5 for the next few miles, the river runs by the eastern side of Griffith Park and the Harding-Wilson Golf Course. It then receives the Arroyo Seco , another major tributary, from the left. The river flows south past the Mission Junction, a large railroad yard on the left. It enters a wider concrete channel with sloped sides, and crosses under Cesar Chavez Avenue, Highway , and Interstate 10 as it passes east of downtown Los Angeles , flowing past the East Los Angeles Interchange for Highway , California State Route 60 , and Interstates 5 and 10 on the left.
The river then crosses under I and shifts slightly southwest, then flows east of Compton and west of Bellflower. After crossing under Interstate for the second time, 2 miles 3. The Tongva were hunters and gatherers who lived primarily off fish , small mammals , and the acorns from the abundant oak trees along the river's path. On August 2, the party camped near the river, somewhere along the stretch just to the north of the Interstate 10 crossing near downtown Los Angeles.
The river was thereafter referred to as the "Porciuncula River". In later years, the "Los Angeles" part of Crespi's lengthy name won out.
Its path was unstable and unpredictable, and the mouth of the river moved frequently from one place to another between Long Beach and Ballona Creek.
In the early 19th century, the river turned southwest after leaving the Glendale Narrows , where it joined Ballona Creek and discharged into Santa Monica Bay in present Marina del Rey.
However, this account is challenged by Col. Instead of having a river way to the sea, the waters spread over the country, filling the depressions in the surface and forming lakes, ponds and marshes. The river water, if any, that reached the ocean drained off from the land at so many places, and in such small volumes, that no channel existed until the flood of , which, by cutting a river way to tide water, drained the marsh land and caused the forests to disappear.
Placing of concrete in a section of the counterforted channel wall on the left bank just above 26th Street in the city of Los Angeles, Until the opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in , the Los Angeles River was the primary water source for the Los Angeles Basin , but much of its channel had extremely low discharge except during the winter rains.
Shaw , leading to calls for flood control measures. The Army Corps of Engineers duly began an ambitious project of completely encasing the river's bed and banks in concrete , with only a trickle of water usually flowing down its middle. According to an August article in the Los Angeles Times , the water in the river today is largely "industrial and residential discharge," which originates from the "two giant pipes that collect the sewage from the homes of , San Fernando Valley residents" that lead to the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant , "before crashing over a man-made waterfall into Lake Balboa.
That body of water, along with two smaller ones, puts 23 million gallons of water a day into the river at Sepulveda Basin. Except for infrequent but dramatic flood episodes, this dry-land flood control basin, most of which is leased from the Corps by the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, plays host to diverse uses today including athletic fields, agriculture, golf courses, a fishing lake, parklands, a sewage treatment facility, and a wildlife reserve.
The river's southern stretch forms the heart of an industrial corridor, stretching nearly unbroken from Lincoln Heights to Long Beach. In this area, the busy Long Beach Freeway I and several high-voltage power lines run within a few hundred feet of the riverbed.
Several rail yards are located along the river's banks in this stretch, as well. Before the river's channelization the river supported a variety of mammals which included the California golden bear removed , grey wolf removed s , coyote , mule deer , and North American beaver. Revitalization[ edit ] People fishing in the Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone Sign at the northern access point of the Elysian Valley River Recreation Zone cautioning against contact with water On July 23, , the nonprofit group River LA , formerly known as the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, announced a goal of completing a continuous mile 82 km greenway and bike path along the river by the end of the decade.
The announcement by the nonprofit group precedes the expected August 30 release of a feasibility study being prepared by the U. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps have the ultimate decision-making power over the river and its future revitalization. In , Mayor Villaraigosa visited South Korea to look at their river restoration project, the Cheonggyecheon.
At normal summer flows the river is a gentle shallow grade 1 and 2 river. The flooding that characterized the River's natural state will still have to be limited to protect the developments that have been built in its flood zone, and the River cannot take groundwater from the area until a number of toxic waste sites such as Santa Susana Field Station are cleaned up.
Communities and cities along the banks of the Los Angeles River include: