Donation Closes Funding Gap Needed to Complete City and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Joint Project
LOS ANGELES – October 12, 2012 Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), Miss Me, Inc. and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced a donation of close to one million dollars to The City of Los Angeles that will complete funding of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) massive, multi-year LA River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.
Prior to the Miss Me gift, given to FoLAR to donate to the City of Los Angeles, the City had fulfilled its 50% cost-sharing commitment for the study totaling $4,850,000. While President Obama’s FY2013 budget requests additional funding for the Corps to continue the feasibility study, FoLAR and Miss Me’s $970,000 donation will enable the Corps to complete the study sooner.
The donation was announced at a press conference today at North Atwater Park in Los Angeles, overlooking the Los Angeles River.
“With the generous donation from Miss Me we are one step closer to revitalizing the Los Angeles River,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraiagosa. “A revitalized river will be the spine of the City – a liquid network of parks, nature trails, pedestrian walkways and bike paths that will connect our communities.”
Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council in Environmental Quality, a participant in the press conference commented, “The restoration of the L.A. River exemplifies the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which include expanding access to outdoor resources, restoring the health of our rivers, and promoting green spaces in urban communities. Meeting the goals of this restoration effort will provide valuable outdoor assets to Angelinos and promote the health and economic vitality of Los Angeles communities.”
“As we celebrate today’s milestone in our nation’s dedication to clean water, I want to reaffirm our commitment to the LA River,” said Col. Mark Toy, Los Angeles District commander. “If authorized by Congress, this study will showcase ecosystem restoration in an urban environment, creating important aquatic habitat and ecologically connecting the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains. The Corps of Engineers is well positioned to lead the way in transforming 20th century concrete infrastructure into sustainable, 21st century urban waterways that continue to provide flood damage reduction benefits.”
“This generous donation is important to the health of the Los Angeles River, the health of the environment, our neighborhoods and our families who live, work and play here,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the City’s Los Angeles Revitalization Master Plan. “Completing the feasibility study is a major step in restoring the L.A. River, an effort projected to deliver significant environmental and socioeconomic benefits, including the creation of 19,000 new jobs. I thank Miss Me, FoLAR and our partners at the federal level for making this possible.”
“The Los Angeles River is this city’s beating heart, and this new infusion of funds cannot come at a better time.” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Lilly Kim, legal counsel and company spokesperson for Miss Me said, “As we are interested in protecting the natural beauty of the Los Angeles River, we are pleased we can play a part in restoration efforts by helping the Army Corps of Engineers complete their feasibility study.”
Lewis MacAdams, president of FoLAR, said “We’re here today to celebrate a wonderful example of corporate citizenship by business leaders dedicated to the community. We thank Miss Me for their generosity and urge other companies to follow their example.”
The Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (nicknamed the ARBOR study – Area with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization) focuses on the mostly soft-bottomed Glendale Narrows, an 11-mile stretch of the river from the north tip of Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles. It will identify opportunity sites where ecological value and aquatic habitat connectivity can be restored to the river, potentially removing some concrete while maintaining adequate flood protection. This study will further the benefits of many Los Angeles River revitalization projects. Project construction will create jobs in Los Angeles.
Charged with local oversight of the study, the City’s Bureau of Engineering and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to provide regular status reports to the City’s Ad Hoc River Committee. In coming months, the two partner agencies will present to the public several alternatives, including ideas that have been received from a broad range of community stakeholders.
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About Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR)
Friends of the Los Angeles River is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission for the past 25 years has been and remains to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. FoLAR’s goal is a swimmable, fishable, boatable Los Angeles River bordered by a greenway from the mountains to the sea.
About Miss Me
Miss Me® launched its first collection in the Spring of 2001 – with the single purpose to dress the modern girl who was no longer definable, but multi-dimensional in character and style. With this recognition and appreciation, Miss Me® designs for those who hold a multitude of passions, personas and cultures. Successfully capturing the many identities of a woman, Miss Me® creates two lines to provide versatile pieces that represent every facet of the Miss Me® woman – from casual wear, formal wear to nightlife styles. Miss Me® has grown to be everyone’s favorite piece in the closet, never compromising comfort for style.