Framework

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Mati Waiya, a Chumash ceremonial elder performs a purification, cleansing and blessing ceremony at the sand where the Malibu Lagoon reaches the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, protesters gathered with signs at the entrance to Malibu Lagoon in anticipation of work beginning on an $8-million restoration project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Monique Kehoe with the surfers coalition carries a surfboard signed by surfers and various leaders who are protesting a restoration project at Malibu Lagoon set to beging Monday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies listen as artist Cathy Cadieux explains photographs she shot at Malibu Lagoon State Park during a protest Friday morning.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Keith Biondi walks through Malibu Lagoon State Park after catching a 20-pound white sea bass while spearfishing Friday, as a protest continued at the entrance to the park in anticipation of the restoration project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

California State Park Peace Officers Lt. Lindsey Templeton, right, and Sgt. Darrell Readyhoff, left, talk with Andy Lyon and Cindy Vandor, who were part of a protest Friday at the entrance to Malibu Lagoon State Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Mati Waiya, left, a Chumash ceremonial elder; Kote Lotah, middle, a Chumash elder; and Chumash David Paul Dominguez, right, walk to the beach where the Maibu Lagoon meets the Pacific Ocean to perform a purification, cleansing and blessing ceremony at Malibu Lagoon State Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

A group of preschoolers walk across a bridge that spans the marshes of Malibu Lagoon in an area of the state park that will be greatly changed under a contentious plan to restore the pollution-choked wetlands adjacent to Surfrider Beach.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Brown pelicans gather on an islet in Malibu Lagoon.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A water bird blends into the marshy foliage of Malibu Lagoon in an area of the state park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A narrow strip of Surfrider Beach separates Malibu Lagoon from the Pacific Ocean. A hotly contested restoration plan for the lagoon has some critics claiming that the result would be the destruction of the wetlands and flatter waves at the famed surf spot in Malibu.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Nasturtiums bloom on the banks of Malibu Lagoon, where an $8-million, four-month restoration project is set to begin. Backers of the restoration say it will create a viable ecosystem with water again flowing in and out of the lagoon. They claim restoration would support more plants, birds and fish, and have no effect on surfing. [For the record, 10:46 p.m. June 1: An earlier version of this caption misidentified the flowers as poppies.]

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A heron preens on an island in a part of Malibu Lagoon slated for restoration. Plans call for draining a portion of the lagoon and scooping out more than 1,000 truckloads of sediment.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Wildflowers bloom along a path through the marshes of Malibu Lagoon, where activists are planning civil disobedience to stop a restoration project, claiming it is too heavy-handed and would destroy a thriving ecosystem that includes many species of seabirds.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

A bird perches on the support beams of a bridge across the wetlands of Malibu Lagoon, where an $8-million restoration project is slated to begin this week.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Wooden bridges through Malibu Lagoon will be removed and a portion of the wetlands drained and reshaped under an $8-million restoration project set to begin June 1. The state of California, government scientists, a loose contingent of local supporters and prominent environmentalists say critics of the restoration plan are ignoring years of science showing that the lagoon is sick and in need of radical changes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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The future of the Malibu Lagoon

The pollution-choked Malibu Lagoon is in such poor health that state park officials are set to drain it and reshape it with bulldozers, a repair job so aggressive that some foes are pledging civil disobedience.

3 Comments

  1. June 1, 2012, 7:57 am

    Those are not poppies, they are nasturtium. This humble garden plant becomes an invasive nightmare in wild areas–please make sure you identify plants accurately, especially in an article about habitat restoration.

    By: jlcondor
  2. June 1, 2012, 10:50 pm

    Thank you for noticing. We've corrected it.
    — Times copy editor

    By: laurenraab
  3. June 1, 2012, 11:48 pm

    As long as bureaucrats validate their existence by spending big tax money, greedy contractors will aggrandize plans such as the Malibu Lagoon destruction project, and our already bankrupt state will continue to plummet. In this case though, the state is taking down endangered species and other viable wildlife in their money-grab. The (finally) informed public is demanding the state to re-think its overblown plans which are based on 10-year-old flawed data. This wheel is so well-greased though with the multi-millions at stake, it even has pushed once-trustworthy groups like HealTheBay and Surfrider Foundation to the dark side as they profit alongside some of their corporate donors.

    By: eugirthia

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