LOS ANGELES --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District and its partner, the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Angeles District, are one step closer on a project to restore Malibu Creek’s ecosystem after receiving support from the Corps’ top brass.
Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, the Corps’ commanding general and 55th U.S. Army chief of engineers, signed the Malibu Creek Ecosystem Restoration project chief’s report Nov. 13 at the Corps’ headquarters in Washington D.C., which elevates the report to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and to Congress for consideration of project authorization.
Located in Malibu Creek State Park and surrounding areas in the watershed, the project aims to restore about 525 acres of habitat in the Malibu Creek ecosystem and 18 miles of aquatic habitat connectivity by re-establishing a corridor from the Pacific Ocean to the interior of the Malibu Creek watershed. The area is a popular Southern California recreational area described as one of the world’s top 25 most biologically rich bio-regions and global hotspots experiencing rapid biodiversity loss.
The project includes removing the Rindge Dam concrete arch and spillway, an obsolete 100-foot-high nonfederal water supply dam; excavating about 780,000 cubic yards of sediment, which accumulated behind the dam decades ago; and transporting about 276,000 cubic yards of sand-rich material to a near-shore site east of Malibu Pier for temporary down-coast shoreline nourishment. The remaining sediment will be transported to the Calabasas Landfill.
Removal of the Rindge Dam arch and sediment allows for migratory access for multiple species to upstream habitat, including the endangered southern California steelhead trout, and restores natural sediment transport to downstream areas of Malibu Creek and nearby shoreline areas. The project also includes modifying or removing eight other small-scale aquatic habitat barriers along Cold Creek and Las Virgenes Creek tributaries to allow access to good-to-excellent quality habitat.
"We look forward to continuing our partnership with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to restore aquatic habitat connectivity to the upper reaches within the watershed and natural sediment flow from the Santa Monica Mountains to the Pacific Ocean,” said Col. Julie Balten, commander of the Corps’ Los Angeles District.
“The Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased that this high priority project for Southern California steelhead recovery will move into the next phase, thanks to the vision and collaboration of so many staff and partners,” said Danielle LeFer, senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Angeles District.
The benefits of the restoration will lead to a healthier watershed and improve shoreline nourishment and protection, along with public safety, said Jim Hutchison, LA District lead planner, during an October site visit. The cost of the project is estimated at about $279 million.
More information about the project can be found at: https://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Projects-Studies/Malibu-Creek-Study.