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SMBAS Official Statement of Support for Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project

August 5, 2012

August 3, 2012

 The Board of Directors of Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society (SMBAS) supports the Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project. This is not a new position for us.  Members of SMBAS began attending the Malibu Lagoon Task Force (MTLF) meetings in the 1990’s.  We took part in the numerous MLTF discussions, and our suggestion to add ornithological expert Kimball Garrett to the Lagoon Technical Advisory Committee was accepted.  At the conclusion of the planning phase, we voted in favor of the MTLF final recommendations.  In October 2010, we sent a statement to the California Coastal Commission affirming our support for the project; we now reiterate our continuing support.

Over the past two months we have observed the progress of the project and have witnessed nothing unexpected, unplanned or dangerous.  We continue to hold monthly bird walks at the lagoon as we have done for almost thirty years.  We continue our monthly censusing of the birds at the lagoon and of the Western Snowy Plovers at their winter roost on the beach.  Our results indicate that as yet the project has had no affect on the lagoon’s birdlife, either in species diversification or total bird numbers; both quantities are varying within their usual ranges for the most recent ten-year period.  Western Snowy Plovers, a threatened species which roosts on Surfrider Beach adjacent to the lagoon, are similarly unaffected.

Based on our observations, bird population in the channels average approximately five percent of that in the main lagoon.  Our understanding is that low oxygen and high bacteria levels in the channels severely limited invertebrate populations in the mud substrate, leaving little for the birds to eat.

We continue to support the plan: to remove the fill dirt placed there decades ago, redesign the channels to create better water circulation and increase ground area subject to water level fluctuation, replant the area with native plants appropriate to a brackish wetland, and redesign the pathway to the beach.

The Board of Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society
Charles G. Bragg, President
The above notice was sent on August 3, 2012 to California State Parks for their records.  It  also was sent to the California Coastal Commission, to reiterate SMBAS’s support for the project.  The Coastal Commission currently is reviewing a petition from project opponents to revoke the project permit. [Chuck Almdale]

One Comment
  1. August 5, 2012 4:46 pm

    Thank you for the good news


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