Catching Cleaner Waves in Malibu

pnoeric surfer

Where would Malibu be without its surfers and where would its surfers be without safe water?

That’s part of the driving energy behind the Legacy Park project. Construction has been launched this week as veteran wave riders joined Malibu City Council to reduce stormwater pollution in Malibu Creek, Malibu Lagoon and world-famous Surfrider Beach.

According to the L.A. Times, the sand breaking 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.

The cost of the major undertaking: $50 million. The benefits of cleaning polluted ocean waters by October 2010? Priceless!

legacy park

“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 City of Malibu envisioned a central park that functioned like an environmental cleaning machine to reduce pollution impacts and improve water quality in areas used daily by residents and tourists from around the world. This following a lawsuit last year by two environmental groups (The Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, and the Santa Monica Baykeeper) to stop allowing urban runoff carrying bacteria and toxins to flow into coastal waters.

The groups argued urban runoff  is the major culprit of coastal water pollution and contact with the pathogens and chemicals, such as cyanide, aluminum and fecal coliform, sickens beachgoers and damages marine life.

The motto of the project: It’s a central park. It’s an oasis. It’s an environmental cleaning machine.

The goal is for Legacy Park to transform 15 acres in the Malibu Civic Center area into a park and stormwater treatment facility, one that captures and cleans more than 2 million gallons a day of stormwater and urban runoff. The water is disinfected and then recycled.

The City says Malibu Legacy Park will be “the only park in California where five coastal natural habitats are linked and accessible: the ocean, lagoon, stream, seasonal wetland and coastal bluffs, and where the development of five habitats on-site will serve as an outdoor educational and living learning center.”

The park will also be a civic attraction with an amphitheater, a Malibu culture commemorative area and educational kiosks.

The City is still seeking donations to support the project. A gift of $500 or more will get you recognition on the park’s permanent honor wall.

Membership in the Legacy Leadership Circle, which is limited to 100 families, begins at $25,000.

Naming opportunities in the park are available for gifts of more than $25,000.

Donations of $5,000 or more are eligible for our three-year pledge program.

Contact the Legacy Park Campaign at (310) 456-2489, ext. 232, or email

Main Image: Pnoeric

Image One: City of Malibu

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.