ELYSIAN VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Plans may soon be underway to restore the natural ecosystem of miles of the Los Angeles River after a board Thursday approved a proposal that aims to do so.

The Civil Works Review Board of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington unanimously approved a $1.3 billion project to restore an 11-mile stretch between Griffith Park and downtown Los Angeles.

READ MORE: No. 13 BYU Rallies From Blown Lead To Beat USC 35-31

“To be able to experience that in a major city is really something. That’s significant, which is why I bring them here,” said Otis College of Art and Design Professor Michael Schrier, who has been bringing his class to the river for years.

He says he has witnessed the decades-old restoration project along its banks.

But in the years to come, as KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports, there will likely be more to experience.

Marsh Park has a bike path and has seen improvements for more than a decade, which City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell says is a good snapshot of what could be in store in the future.

READ MORE: Suspicious Vehicle Prompts Response From SWAT, Beverly Hills Police

O’Farrell started working on this effort years ago when he was a staff member for then-councilman and now Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Efren Sanchez and his family live near the river and he says he’s seen improvements firsthand.

“I think it’s a good thing but, you know, again the only downfall is the prices of the homes have gone up,” he said.

O’Farrell says he’s also working to bring in affordable housing along the river, a move that could create jobs as well.

“We do not want to price people out of the neighborhoods as we encourage investment along the river,” he said.

MORE NEWS: UCLA Runs Past Cal 42-14 To Wrap Up Eight-Win Regular Season

The city will now await congressional approval before funding can flow into the river.