By Greg Fuderer
CALABASAS, California – The Los Angeles District held a public hearing March 1 at the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District office in Calabasas to present the National Environmental Restoration and Likely Locally Preferred Plan for ecosystem restoration along Malibu Creek and to take comments from the public about their concerns regarding the project.
District Commander Col. Kirk Gibbs conducted the meeting for about 30 residents and others interested in the status of the potential project, the primary feature of which would be the removal of Rindge Dam.
Rindge Dam, built in the 1920s, is located about three miles upstream from Malibu Creek’s confluence with the Pacific Ocean. The 100-foot high dam prevents fish passage and impounds nearly 780,000 cubic yards of sediment.
Jim Hutchison, lead planner for the study, presented an array of alternatives, the majority of which call for removal of the dam to facilitate fish passage. Removal of the dam and additional upstream aquatic barriers is critical to restorinjg the habitat and would allow southern California steelhead, an endangered species, and other wildlife access to five miles of Malibu Creek.
Concerns raised by speakers at the meeting included truck traffic and their impact on roads and commuters, the potential for increased risk of flooding downstream, possible effects on water quality, replenishment of sand and cobble on the beach, and the project’s cost.
The public meeting presentations, as well as the two posters describing the National Ecosystem Restoration Plan and the Locally Preferred Plan, can be found at: http://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Projects-Studies/Malibu-Creek-Study/