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Rivers of Los Angeles County


River Stream Miles (main stem) Drainage Area (square miles)
Los Angeles River 97 830
Rio Hondo River 20 125
San Gabriel River 59 350
Santa Clara River 75 1,616

Source: U.S. Geological Survey


If the concrete channels of the Los Angeles River were demolished and the river could flow freely again, it is estimated that three to four million people would have to relocate to stay out of the way of seasonal flooding. Most of the river's natural and historical course would cut widely through scores of  communities. Most of the Los Angeles River now courses narrowly through a long concrete channel to the sea. In 1995, the environmental group American Rivers called the Los Angeles River the most endangered urban waterway in the United States. Many local environmentalists, however, believe that the concrete channel that we call the Los Angeles River is no longer a true river. They lament that it is mostly a concrete channel for runoff rain. To them, the historical Los Angeles River is long gone.



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