The 13-acre lagoon underwent a multi-million dollar reconstruction that aimed to reshape the brackish waterway, reconfigure water channels, remove pedestrian bridges, and strip the weedy shoreline. The wetlands dredging project cost $7 million and yielded in the planting of roughly 68,000 indigenous plants.
The project was overseen by California State Parks, with partnering organizations being California State Coastal Conservancy, the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Monica Baykeeper and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation.
During the nine-month development, the restoration project resulted in much local debate. Supporters argued that the lagoon was unhealthy due to the lack of oxygen in the water and required an overhaul. Protestors said that the lagoon should be left alone.
Protestors of the lagoon’s reconstruction picketed, filed lawsuits, and fought with the Malibu City Council on the matter. Given the lagoon’s worldwide renown as a popular surfing site, the controversy was provided national coverage, including such networks at ESPN and The New York Times.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for May 3.
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