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Malibu Lagoon Reconfiguration – Six Years On

May 24, 2020

Last year’s news today!

From the full report

From two local newspaper articles:
In mid-September, 2019, The Bay Foundation and California State Parks released the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project Final Comprehensive Monitoring Report (Year 6). The data indicates that the restoration project was wholly successful as assessed against project goals and success criteria.

“It’s very gratifying, and we’re very pleased with the results,” Suzanne Goode, natural resource program manager for State Parks, said in an interview.

Links to the articles

The Malibu Times
2013 Malibu Lagoon Restoration Declared a Success
Six years after the $6.6 million controversial project was completed, lagoon health has improved, according to the final report from The Bay Foundation and its partners.
By Jimy Tallal / Special to The Malibu Times, September 27, 2019

Santa Monica Daily Press
Final Comprehensive Monitoring Report of Malibu Lagoon Indicates Proven Success Towards Project Goals
By George Moreno and Julie Du Brow, Special to the Santa Monica Daily Press, September 23, 2019

Links to Original Documents

Final Comprehensive Monitoring Report of Malibu Lagoon Indicates Proven Success Towards Project Goals
Joint Statement of The Bay Foundation and California State Parks
By Julie Du Brow, The Bay Foundation and George Moreno, California State Park
September 18, 2019
PDF file, 3 pages.

Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project Final Comprehensive Monitoring Report (Year 6)
August, 2019. PDF file, 261 pages.
Prepared by: The Bay Foundation (TBF)
Prepared for: State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation
Karina Johnston, Science Director, TBF
Melodie Grubbs, Director of Watershed Programs, TBF
Chris Enyart, Watershed Programs Coordinator, TBF
Rosi Dagit, Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (fish)
Dan Cooper, Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc. (birds)

Executive Summary (from the full report)
The Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project was completed on 31 March 2013. This report assesses the post-restoration conditions of Malibu Lagoon across approximately six years of monitoring by evaluating a suite of parameters. An evaluation of post-restoration conditions, through detailed physical, chemical, and biological monitoring components has resulted in several overarching trends. The restoration project has been determined to be wholly successful as assessed against defined project goals, performance standards, and success criteria (Table ES-1) outlined in California Coastal Commission CDP No. 4-07-098 and supporting documentation, including monitoring plans. No supplemental habitat restoration and enhancement plan is recommended for the project.

A clear pattern in the water quality data indicates that lowering the lagoon elevation, creating a wider single main channel directed more towards the incoming tide, orienting channel configurations in line with prevailing wind patterns, and removing the pinch points (i.e.,bridges) led to an increase in circulation both in an open and closed berm lagoon condition. Vertical profile mixing was an additional water quality indicator of a well-functioning post-restoration system. California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) surveys were a good indicator of the consistently increasing condition of the post-restoration wetland habitat areas. Each component of the post-restoration monitoring program is summarized, below, along with the 5-year success criteria for each survey type and the criteria evaluation details or results (Table ES-1). Detailed analyses by parameter are in the subsections below the summary table and integrate each set of results and data across survey years. Summary conclusions can be found at the end of the Executive Summary and with additional detail at the end of this report.

When compared to pre-restoration data, post-restoration results show improved water quality, improved circulation, removal of dead zones and excess sedimentation issues, and a diverse native ecosystem resilient to impacts. This report contains detailed results and analyses for each parameter surveyed, including comparisons to pre-restoration data as well as trends across the entire monitoring period to track changes over time. These results show that the site is meeting the overall project goals.

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

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