located just northwest of Los Angeles County and is bordered by Kern County to the north, Santa Barbara County to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The county covers 1,843 square miles and has 43 miles of coastline.
When Spanish occupation of California began in 1769, an exploratory expedition of more than 60 persons led by Gaspar de Portolá moved north through the area now known as Los Angeles. They camped by a river where fertile soil and availability of water for irrigation impressed members of the party. Father Juan Crespi, who accompanied the group, saw the location as having all the requirements for a large settlement. He named the river El Río de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciúncula, which means "The River of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula."