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May 30, 2012

Being a collection of miscellany concerning Malibu Lagoon.

Jim Kenney, SMBAS member and major photographic contributor to our blogs and FaceBook photo albums, was recently interviewed by the Palisades Post about Malibu Lagoon and the reconfiguration project.  Here’s a link to Libby Motika’s article “Malibu Lagoon: A Birds Paradise.”  If you like the photo of the Snowy Egret in the article, here’s a link to two albums of Jim’s photographs, jam-packed with fascinating facts written by SMBAS members: one on passerine birds and one on non-passerine birds.

The Malibu City Council is still looking for ways to exercise their – newly found, it seems to me – opposition to the reconfiguration, acording to a blog posted 5/30/12 on Malibu Patch.  I posted a comment on this particular blog – about 8 comments down – mentioning that the City of Malibu had been intimately involved in the project decision process, and wondering why they are so opposed to it now.

A message dated 5/28 from Bob Purvey of EcoMalibu.  Their website has lots of information and interesting photos on it.

     For the second time in a little over a year, the Obstructionist’s of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project had filed a court action with a petition seeking a stay of the project.  The first petition seeking a stay had to be reviewed in depth.  The review process caused a year’s delay to clean up the polluted waters in the Malibu Lagoon because the project is scheduled around the appropriate season, summer.
According to the laws of justice the Obstructionists had to show irreparable harm and “that ‘substantial questions’ would be raised on the appeal and must explain the underlying case in a manner that ‘facially’ demonstrates the merits of their issues.”
Yesterday, the petition was denied as appellants have not met that burden; specifically, they have not demonstrated that the appeal presents an exceptional situation presenting a substantial issue on appeal that, even facially, has merit. Now, the 99% will benefit.


Over the past 15 years, Mark Abramson has worked with Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Baykeeper and most recently as Senior Watershed Advisor for Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation.  He did a 25-minute presentation last December on the lagoon project, which has recently been put on YouTube.  Well worth the watch!  As mentioned in earlier blogs, Mark was a frequent attendee at the lagoon meetings.  Bob Purvey, co-editor of this film, makes the following comments.

     I am very excited about what I learned, in detail and first hand from Mark Abramson, while we edited the video of his PowerPoint presentation of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project.

     This environmental restoration project is technically detailed and is the culmination of an extraordinary amount of hearts & minds that came together over the course of 23 years.  I’m calculating from the first significant study: Dillingham and Manion’s 1989, Malibu Lagoon: A Baseline Ecological Survey and to most every study since.

     As you may know now, Abramson is the manager of the project and he knows practically everything there is to know about it.  He has nurtured this situation since he joined Heal the Bay and the Watershed effort in 1997.

     Wow, and what a project.  What gets me most excited is that the net result will be a baseline wildlife restoration that will set an example and as a sensitive habitat it will be protected by everybody.  For all intensive purposes, the water will become cleansed and the enhanced habitat will work to keep it that way, inviting Steelhead Trout to return.  The new avian islands will become havens for wildlife and invite the Bald Eagle to return.

     Malibu’s headwaters at the Creek’s terminus will gain far more protection now that all the environmental groups and government agencies have successfully come together to create this model for restoration.  The importance of this project is far greater than anyone of us and will have resounding impact on generations to come.

     You will get great impressions from Mark’s presentation, but nothing will be like the real thing.  Also, with a healthy imagination, I’m sure you’ll glance into the future when you see this presentation.  It has to be one of the State’s most sensational projects ever.

     On another note, I’d like to recognize the fact that many who have been supportive of the project have taken a beating from the opposition in the past year and now feel vindicated since the courts have decided to recognize the lack of merits in the opposition’s petition to stay the project.

     Many withstood unbelievably offensive insults and threats, and stood ground.  Bravo and Brava! The fights fought against many falsehoods and two media efforts to gain readership from the conflict, making out honest efforts to be controversial, were difficult on many and unfairly time consuming.   But, as it may turnout, it will be time well spent because many became engaged and learned more about this precious Malibu eco-system as a result of the conflict.  Surfers around the world are becoming better stewards of the environment because of it.

Collected by [Chuck Almdale]

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