Take a look at this fantastic article, How Kayaking Saved the Los Angeles River, written by Hayden Coplen, detailing the plight of opening the Los Angeles River for public use. The article will interest our WPNetwork members as it touches on how the Clean Water Rule and Army Corps of Engineers policies helped shape this story.
“The L.A. River is an enigma, sitting in plain view, but hardly touched. It is a post-apocalyptic aquatic freeway, a greenish tributary slicing through the city’s sprawl, a nature area hopelessly juxtaposed with the urban.”
Heather Wylie on the banks of the LA River in the Sepulveda Basin on Jul.14, 2010. The historic boat trip down the LA River she took with two dozen friends, an expedition that cost Wylie her job with the Army Corps of Engineers, but helped win federal protection for the river under the Clean Water Act two years later. Photo Credit: saveourcommunity.un
WPNetwork members will recognize a familiar name in the article: our very own Heather Wylie, a long-time supporter of the WPNetwork, who has been actively fighting the Corps since 2008.
Here is just a snippet of Heather’s story to give our readers a taste:
In 2008, Heather Wylie was a young, idealistic biologist, craving a chance to make a real impact. But, instead of changing the world, she sat mired inside a governmental agency she claims was neglecting public interest.
A fiery, sharp-tongued contrarian, Wylie offers bold proclamations and researched facts in equal doses when she speaks, without ever seeming to pause for air. In interviews, she avoids small talk and propels into meaty conversation unprompted, often surging forward for 10 minutes without even a question lobbed her way.
Wylie embodies her role of whistleblower and never hesitates to defend the L.A. River when the opportunity arrives. “I didn’t care if I lost [my job],” Wylie said. “I just wanted to stay there long enough to get the things I wanted.”