Compton Gateway: Symposium on Creekside Community Development
The Compton Creek starts at a convergence of underground storm drains and flows through western Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Rancho Dominguez, and Carson, before reaching the confluence with the Los Angeles River in North Long Beach. Compton Creek is a 42.1 square mile sub-watershed within the Los Angeles River Watershed. The watershed is highly urbanized; only 3.3% of the land is open space, parks, agriculture, or vacant. The rest is predominantly residential, comprised of small single family homes, multifamily units, and significant areas of commercial and industrial facilities.
There are few remaining large open space areas. Wetlands habitat within the earthen-bottom southern portion of the creek channel still remains, albeit in degraded condition. The watershed is park-poor with only 0.6 acres of park per one thousand persons; though they vary, minimum standards for urban park space fall near 4 acres per one thousand persons.
Water quality impairments, as listed on the California’s 303(d) list, include copper, lead, pH and coliform bacteria. Nonpoint source pollution from urban runoff is one of the most important contributors of pollutants to Compton Creek. The highly urbanized nature of the Compton Creek Watershed indicates that a lack of permeable surfaces may aggravate the nonpoint source pollution problem.
The northern, upstream portion of Compton Creek is a concrete-lined box channel, while the southern portion of the Creek is an earthen-bottom trapezoidal section with reinforced 'riprap' banks. The earthen-bottom portion of Compton Creek contains remnant wetland habitat and adjoins some potential sites for constructed or treatment wetlands as well as wetland restoration. Although invaded by exotic species, the area already supports a fair amount of wildlife.
On Sept. 15th and 16th, 2009, over 100 people from all levels of government, private enterprise, non-profit organizations, and community groups from Compton came together to discuss, debate, and discover a vision for the Compton Gateway opportunity area that may incorporate stream habitat, recreational resources, economic opportunities, transportation options......