Malibu Lagoon Project Threatens the Tidewater Goby and Other Wildlife
NOTE: This is a guest blog post from Jennifer Estes, Program Manager for Sea Save Foundation.
The Malibu Lagoon, a pristine wetland at the base of Malibu Creek located just north of Los Angeles, California, is a lush ecosystem home to a variety of species of flora and fauna. However, years of urban sprawl and human interference have shrunk the size of the lagoon and threatened the well-being of the entire environment.
Two years ago the California Coastal Commission conditionally approved the proposal of the California Department of Parks and Recreation to restore the Malibu Lagoon. However, citizen activists have discovered many flaws and gaps in the official plan to restore the lagoon that will cost an estimated $8.5 million dollars. Such flaws include improper handling of wildlife and reliance on assumptions of outdated science, which can harm both the environment and public health. The City of Malibu, which unanimously voted against the project on April 9, 2012, has persistently lobbied the involved agencies for more answers. Now there is less than one week left before ground breaks on June 1.
The lagoon is home to the Tidewater Goby, a Federally listed endangered species. The behavioral pattern of the Goby is such that they retreat into mud burrows for shelter upon sensing any loud noise or other disturbance to their habitat. To make matters worse, nesting season begins in June, so thousands of eggs will be buried deep in the mud when the project begins. When the bulldozers roll on June 1, both the burrowed Fish and their buried eggs will be destroyed. Nowhere in the state parks’ plan is this issue addressed. In addition to the Goby, the planned project imperils at least one other endangered species and several threatened animals.
Please help save the Lagoon and the residents who thrive in this habitat. Encourage the State Parks to explore other less invasive alternatives by signing our petition.
Photo courtesy of Sea Save