From: Reuters
Published March 31, 2006 12:00 AM

Humble Goldfish Make Splash for LA River Project

LOS ANGELES — They're only two humble goldfish but their four-week adventure has captured more attention than years of efforts to beautify the trash-strewn concrete channel otherwise known as the Los Angeles River.

The pet shop pair have their own Web site, fan mail and a 24-hour Webcam where the public can watch them splash in an aquarium filled with treated sewage water taken from the Los Angeles River -- and a sculpture of a tiny junked car.

Named Little Ed and Little Antonio -- after the two politicians leading the bid to liberate much of the 32-mile river from its concrete banks and create wildlife parks along the water's edge -- the goldfish were expected to die within a week.

But 24 days, and several hours on, they are doing swimmingly, attracting more than 100 e-mails and spawning an entry on the popular social networking site (Status: single. Orientation: Not Sure. Zodiac sign: Pisces).

The idea was the brainchild of Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Hymon in what he called "an extremely amateurish experiment" to see whether fish could survive in the river, which currently acts as a winter flood channel and in summer dries to a murky trickle.

"I am very glad they are still alive," said councilman Ed Reyes Thursday, who has spent five years getting the project to the planning and public discussion phase.

"For all the bad things people say about the river -- and most people see it as a giant sewer -- the goldfish show the river can sustain life. It makes the whole idea more personal," Reyes said.

City officials are holding 18 months of public meetings to refine the restoration plan but the cost and the final product is expected to be tens of millions of dollars and years in the making.

Source: Reuters

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