Groundbreaking ceremony held for innovative storm water and environmental restoration project
The city of Malibu, Calif., has launched the construction of its much anticipated Legacy Park Project, the centerpiece of the city's more than $50-million commitment to clean water. Against a backdrop of surfers with surfboards signifying cleaner oceans, elected officials, donors, Malibu residents and business leaders celebrated the groundbreaking as city officials dug their shovels into the ground and turned over the first few piles of dirt."Legacy Park is going to act as Malibu's environmental cleaning machine," said Mayor Andy Stern. "It will reduce pollution from storm water, improve the city's water quality and allow residents to enjoy the health and recreation benefits of an open space area and a clean ocean that everyone should have at their fingertips."One of California's most innovative storm water and urban runoff projects, Legacy Park is going to transform 15 acres in the heart of Malibu into a central park that will benefit the community for decades to come. This central park will capture more than 2 million gal per day of storm water and urban runoff that flow from the surrounding watershed so it can be cleaned, disinfected and recycled. The project will also restore and develop important riparian habitat and create an open space area for passive recreation and environmental education. In addition, it will provide a living learning center for six coastal habitats.Stern, State Senator Fran Pavley, Asemblymember Julia Brownley and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky were among speakers lauding the city and recognizing Legacy Park being an important step toward the city's commitment to improve ocean water quality, specifically in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and the world-famous Surfrider Beach, and provide an ecologically friendly environment for residents and visitors to treasure.Legacy Park is scheduled to be completed by October 2010 and has undergone a comprehensive environmental permitting and design process, which included extensive public review and participation. The project's design team included some of California's most respected engineering, storm water, wastewater and environmental restoration experts.A technical advisory committee comprised of environmental and scientific community specialists provided extensive input, resulting in several specific innovative design elements being included in the project, such as harvesting the storm water within the Civic Center watershed area and recycling it for park irrigation and utilizing natural biological filtering processes to remove sediments from the storm water.In addition to the Legacy Park and other storm water projects, the city of Malibu is preparing plans for a centralized wastewater system for its Civic Center area, authorizing $2.6 million in January 2009 for design and engineering.