The Los Angeles River Watershed-wide Monitoring Program (LARWMP) is designed to answer five specific questions of interest to a broad range of stakeholders within the watershed:
What is the environmental health of streams in the overall watershed?
Are the conditions at areas of unique importance getting better or worse?
Are receiving waters near discharges meeting water quality objectives?
Are local fish safe to eat?
Is body contact recreation safe?
The Los Angeles River Watershed Monitoring Program (LARWMP) was developed during 2007 by a group of stakeholders representing major permittees, regulatory and management agencies, and conservation groups. The objectives of the program are to increase awareness of the importance of issues at the watershed scale and to improve the coordination and integration of monitoring efforts for both compliance and ambient conditions. Sampling was initiated in 2008 and focused on Questions 1 and 3, and a portion of Question 2, with full implementation occurring in 2009.

The goals of the monitoring program include those similar to the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System:

Compliance with receiving water objectives
Trends in surface water quality
Impacts to beneficial uses
Health of the biological community
Data needs for modeling contaminants of concern
The resulting program is a multi-level monitoring framework that combines probabilistic and targeted sampling for water quality, toxicity, and bio-assessment and habitat condition. Patterned after the San Gabriel River Regional Monitoring, the LARWMP incorporates local and site-specific issues within a broader watershed-scale perspective.

The LARWMP improves overall cost effectiveness of monitoring efforts in the watershed. The plan and program reduces redundancies within and between existing monitoring programs, to target monitoring efforts on contaminants of concern, and to adjust monitoring locations and sampling frequencies to better respond to management priorities in the Los Angeles River watershed. This is addressed through a combination of existing compliance and assessment monitoring, new monitoring efforts, and the integration of ongoing and planned special studies in the watershed. In addition, coordination has been undertaken with Regional efforts underway through the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), Clean Rivers through Effective Stakeholder TMDLs (CREST) and the Stormwater Monitoring Coalition (SMC).

The LARWMP is implemented through a collaborative effort led by the Council for Watershed Health, in cooperation with the cities of Burbank and Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, USEPA and other stakeholders.

Annual results of the ambient assessment provide a context for evaluating water quality and stream conditions below permitted discharge locations. Results will also help to identify areas where expanded monitoring or special studies should be focused. It is anticipated that this program will improve inter-agency coordination and cost-effectiveness of disparate monitoring efforts, generate more robust monitoring data, and serve as a framework for periodic and comprehensive assessments of watershed condition. Results will be compiled on a five-year basis to make comprehensive watershed-wide assessments to answer the five fundamental questions of the program.
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