What is ULAR?

Simply put, we are a group of passionate scientists, activists, city organizers, and policy experts who care about solving pollution crises and working to improve stormwater management. Our full name, ULAR WMG, stands for “The Upper Los Angeles River Watershed Management Group,” but you can call us ULAR for short.

We’re made up of 19 agencies (including 17 Cities) covering a massive 485 square miles of watershed. By electing to work collaboratively with each other, we’re developing a comprehensive approach to stormwater management that covers the large region that spans all of our homes.

ULAR’s Mission

Water at its base is neutral. Not harmful. Not helpful. It’s just another natural resource. But it can become a bad or good thing depending on how it is treated. It is ULAR’s mission to make sure water is used correctly and treated properly. We do this by developing an innovative approach that maximizes the capture and use of urban runoff as a resource for groundwater recharge (putting water back in the ground via irrigation, park lakes) while also creating lovely and pleasant looking green spaces that benefit all of our communities.

EWMP Section

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Enemy of the Month

Copper

Copper is an important nutrient for healthy organisms and rivers, however, too much can be toxic, making it a ULAR watershed pollutant of concern. One source is automotive brake—or friction—pads where the soft metal improves braking. Every time a driver applies their brakes, invisible particulates are released into the air and fall onto impervious surfaces like streets, parking lots, and roofs, only to wash off when it rains. When studies found that much of the copper in urban runoff was derived from brake pads, cities negotiated with automobile and brake pad manufactures to reduce its content in new automotive brake pads. As older cars are retired, and newer more expensive cars used, the amount of copper released into the environment and washed into our rivers should decrease.

Number of Safe Samples safe fish
toxic fish Number of Toxic Samples

Measure W, you’re the best.

In 2018, voters decided to approve Measure W’s parcel tax to fund stormwater recycling and various other ways to create safer and cleaner water, as well as beautifying the region. Which is amazing! And music to our ears. ULAR WMG now has the ability to make that funding work hard in bolder, bigger efforts to manage the stormwater.

Hop on over to the projects page and see how taxpayer’s money is making the water system work in better, more sustainable ways.

See all ULAR initiatives
Illiustration of a man and a woman collecting coins in a body of water

The Ongoing Fight

Trash

Trash by Abundance : Count

See Our Latest Initiatives

Stormwater Management is a complex thing, so we are attacking it on a lot of different fronts. Read all about our latest initiatives and projects at our Initiatives Page.