NEPs In the News
Santa Monica NEP: Malibu Lagoon Coming Back to Life
A comprehensive, post-restoration monitoring report finds Malibu Lagoon is now a healthier system because of a project to restore tidal flushing and revegetate wetlands. The project, which targeted a site formerly characterized as a 'dead zone,' resulted in increased water circulation and oxygen concentrations, bringing a wetland and benthic habitat back to life. Based on the first two years of a five-year monitoring program, the Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project shows that it is on track to meet or exceed the documented criteria for success. The Project’s core goals included improving the ecological health of the lagoon’s system by enhancing habitats for native wildlife, creating several acres of new wetlands, and increasing tidal flushing and water circulation to improve water quality and eliminate the "dead zones" and oxygen-deprived areas.
Prior to the restoration, the 31-acre Malibu Lagoon was on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of impaired water bodies for over a decade due to excess nutrients and low oxygen levels. Without oxygen, aquatic life cannot breathe, so very little was able to live in some parts of the lagoon. Additionally, sediment slowly continued to deposit, choking out the remaining wetland habitats. The lagoon lies at the end of the Malibu Creek Watershed, the second largest watershed draining into Santa Monica Bay. It receives year-round freshwater from sources upstream and is periodically open to the ocean via a temporary stream that cuts through the sandbar, breaching the estuary.
“This restoration project in the western portion of the lagoon reconfigured the channels and removed tons of contaminated debris and mud--all leading to much better circulation of water and levels of oxygen throughout the system, both when the lagoon is open to the ocean, or closed by the sand berm," states Dr. John Dorsey, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at Loyola Marymount University. “In just a relatively short time, we’re seeing a healthier group of invertebrates, many needing good water quality to flourish, as well as a nursery habitat for juvenile fish. I expect plants and animals living in the channels, and along the banks, to become even more diverse as these habitats continue to mature."
To learn more, read The Bay Foundation's Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project Comprehensive Monitoring Report reporting how conditions changed two years after the restoration, or the press release summarizing the report's findings.
Costal Bend Bays NEP receives "Water for Wildlife" Hollomon Price Foundation Grant
The Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program has received a $25,000 grant from Hollomon Price Foundation for the installation of solar powered water wells at the CBBEP Nueces Delta Preserve.
"The Hollomon Price Foundation is a wonderful partner, we have a common interest in providing water for wildlife during critical periods of drought. This project showcases the good that can happen when we work together" said Ray Allen, CBBEP Executive Director.
To read the full press release, click here.