WASHINGTON -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is breaking new ground — or waters — in lobbying federal officials to support a $1-billion project to restore a stretch of the Los Angles River. He’s taking Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on a kayak ride on the river Thursday.
Garcetti, on his first trip to Washington as the city’s chief executive last month, visited Capitol Hill and the White House in a push for a restoration project that is more than double the cost of the one recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers, even talking up the project with President Obama.
The mayor faces long odds, given that the Republican-controlled House has pushed to cut spending and the Army Corps faces a $60-billion-plus backlog of other projects awaiting funding.
Still, his lobbying comes as congressional negotiators, led by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a supporter of the mayor’s efforts, are writing a new water-projects bill that could advance the project.