Watersheds Ahead! Discover your #H2OMoment Today

A new year brings new knowledge. Many Angelenos are aware of LA’s watersheds, but some of you may be asking…what exactly is a watershed? Simply put, a watershed is an area of land that collects water and directs it to a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean. Here in LA we have four major watersheds: Los Angeles River, Santa Monica Bay, Dominguez Channel and Ballona Creek. We all live in a watershed. Take a look at our watershed map to discover which LA watershed you live in and then discover what LA’s watersheds have to offer. We hope you’re inspired to keep them clean, healthy, and to discover your #H2OMoment today!

LA River is easy to enjoy with many miles of river where you can walk, hike and bird watch. Stop along the way to have a picnic at Bette Davis Picnic Area in Griffith Park or try a cafe in the Glendale Narrows, Atwater Village or Elysian Valley areas. There are also many bike paths that run along the river offering long rides – about 30 miles from Vernon to Long Beach or short rides – about 7 miles from Chinatown to Griffith Park. Check out Friends of the LA River for more information on the river and all its happenings!

Santa Monica Bay is a great place for fishing, swimming, surfing, diving, and more! Some of the most famous beaches in California sit along the bay including Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Will Rogers State Beach. You can also check out several piers with activities and views, like the Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach Pier. Finally, try the 22-mile paved bike path, known as the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, running from Will Rogers State Beach in the north to Torrance Beach in the south.

Dominguez Channel is characterized by a system of storm drains and flood control channels. It is mostly developed and largely industrial, with some residential pockets as well. If you are looking for some natural recreation in the area, check out Machado Lake within the Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park. The Proposition O-funded Machado Lake Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project has done a great job improving the water quality of the lake, enhancing the natural habitat, and improving the recreational features of the park.

Ballona Creek also has a great bike path that begins at the Syd Kronenthal Park in Culver City and heads west along Ballona Creek all the way to the coast. Birds abound, with the chance to see egrets, herons, and gulls along the way. Additionally, check out the many small parks that branch off the bike path and feature rest areas, bike parking, and native plant gardens. If you’re interested in learning more about or getting involved with Ballona Creek, the Ballona Creek Renaissance and Friends of the Ballona Wetlands are great resources!

Additionally, if you’re interested in exploring these watersheds and helping a good cause at the same time, you can participate in the Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count from Friday, February 16th to Monday, February 19th! All you have to do is pick a spot in your local watershed and count the birds you encounter for a minimum of 15 minutes for at least one of the days.

Now get out there and discover your watershed! And don’t be afraid to find your #H2OMoment, the moment when you realize your everyday actions affect your watersheds. After this realization, you can pledge to take a different action every day, such as picking up after your pet, gardening with non-toxic pesticides, never littering, or all three! Every time you have a watershed moment, you positively impact your neighborhoods, parks, rivers, and beaches.



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