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Construction begins on Malibu's 'environmental cleaning machine'

September 21, 2009 |  2:55 pm

Veteran surfers joined forces with the Malibu City Council today to launch construction of Legacy Park, the centerpiece of the city’s $50-million-plus plan to clean up polluted water in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and famed Surfrider Beach.

“Legacy Park is going to act as Malibu’s environmental cleaning machine,” said Mayor Andy Stern. “It will reduce pollution from stormwater, 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.”

The event drew pioneering surfers Cal Porter and Richard Davis as well as Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) and Malibu-ite Victoria Principal.

With completion planned by October 2010, Legacy Park will transform 15 acres in the Malibu Civic Center area into a park that will double as a stormwater treatment facility.

Officials say it will capture more than 2 million gallons a day of stormwater and urban runoff so that it can be cleaned, disinfected and recycled.

In January, the city authorized $2.6 million for design and engineering of a wastewater treatment system for the Civic Center area. Environmental groups, including Heal the Bay, have criticized Malibu’s approach, saying Legacy Park should have been engineered to handle both stormwater and wastewater treatment.

--Martha Groves