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Would Restoring the Malibu Lagoon Actually Destroy It?

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Photo by faria! via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by faria! via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Environmentalists are divided over the proposed $7 million plan to restore the Malibu Lagoon, according to the LA Times.

Tomorrow the Coastal Commission will consider the plan, which will see to it the lagoon's "stagnant, polluted waterways" be drained and rectified in order to better its "ecological health."

However the fix could also be its own demise:

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Although most conservation groups support the project and the coastal panel's staff has recommended approval, some activists say the heavy grading, use of construction equipment and ripping out of vegetation is heavy-handed and would essentially destroy the habitat in order to save it.

The lagoon's well-being has been an issue for several years; the Malibu Creek Watershed Council was part of a task force that conducted a study of the projectwith UCLA in 1997-2000, while Heal the Bay was part of the team behind the restoration endeavor, for which Phase 1 was completed in April 2008.

Work on the restoration would begin next year, should the Commission approve the project tomorrow. If so, the organizations involved are betting on the temporary disruption being a part of a larger, positive, long-term improvement.