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Environmental groups sue to block restoration of Malibu Lagoon

December 6, 2010 |  4:45 pm

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef013488235682970c-800wi

Environmental groups have filed suit against the California Coastal Commission to stop a plan to restore the Malibu Lagoon.

The panel in October approved the state Department of Parks and Recreation’s $7-million restoration project, which would temporarily drain part of the lagoon and use bulldozers to scoop out sediment and improve water circulation in the pollutant-choked wetland.

According to the suit, the Coastal Commission failed to come up with a less environmentally damaging alternative to dredging the wetland and did not adequately protect sensitive habitat, including aquatic vegetation and fish.

The suit also challenges the plan to remove a pathway that has been blamed for restricting the flow of water in and out of the lagoon, saying it would restrict access to Surfrider Beach.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in San Francisco by the Wetlands Defense Fund, Access for All and the Coastal Law Enforcement Action Network.

Most environmental groups have praised the restoration plan, saying it would remedy the wetland's polluted, stagnant waters and poor ecological health.

The project is scheduled to begin next summer.

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Credit Los Angeles Times

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