Support a Malibu Lagoon Management Plan
Support a Malibu Lagoon Management Plan
Our beloved 1st Point at Malibu Surfrider Beach is disappearing due to excessive erosion. The situation is dire, and we need everyone in the surf community to take a stand to protect this natural treasure before it is too late.
Malibu Surfrider Beach is listed in the National Register of historic Places (ref. #100002022), and is an international mecca for tourists, surfers and homeowners alike.
We must make our voices heard now, because there is a near danger that our beach will erode and disappear, thus lost to future generations.
The use lack of action by local, state and county officials to properly manage the seasonal breaching of Malibu Creek is threatening the existence of the world-renowned surfing phenomenon that is 1st Point. Long before the restoration project began, many experienced and dedicated 1st Point surfers had predicted and sounded the alarm that this erosion would happen, and here we are, watching our beloved beach fall into the ocean.
Reflections from the local surf community:
1. Failure to create a multi-stakeholder Lagoon Management Plan led to increased erosion and the Lagoon Restoration project exacerbated the problem. There is no Lagoon Management Plan, other California coastal lagoons have them in place and one is needed in Malibu, now.
2. The lagoon should initially breach each season at its far western end to replenish the sands.
3. The high tides are reaching higher on our shoreline and encroaching critical infrastructure: such as space for lifeguard towers, adequate life-saving activities, beach bathrooms, beach for human use, Adamson House, beach properties and the Iconic Malibu Pier.
4. We demand that the voices of our surfing elders be heard and honored for their deep understanding and connections spanning seasons and decades. They know the ebb and flow of the width, direction and behavior of the creak, the swell directions and intervals through direct observation and experience. This knowledge is crucial as we strive to now reverse years of deterioration and loss.
Our elders, the surfing community and the Lagoon Action Committee have a legitimate right to be part of the remediation of Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Lagoon Management Plan. The dedication, knowledge and experience surfer's bring will be crucial. Immediate action must be taken to correct this extreme problem, and we demand our place in all further planning and action towards remediation.
Support Letter from Malibu Surfing Association and Surfrider Los Angeles Chapter, June 9th, 2019
Reva Feldman June 8, 2019 City Manager City of Malibu 23825 Stuart Ranch Road Malibu, California 90265-4861 VIA EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: DEVELOPMENT OF A MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR MALIBU LAGOON UNDER THE MALIBU LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM
Dear Ms. Feldman,
This letter is being presented to you on behalf of the Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) and the Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles Chapter.
MSA was formed in 1961 as one of California’s first surfing clubs. The MSA is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to the fellowship of surfing and to the stewardship of our home break, world-famous Malibu Beach (Surfrider Beach). Nearly 60 years since our founding, with a membership representing over 800 cumulative years of surfing, MSA remains intimately associated with the past, present, and future of surfing and of Surfrider Beach.
Founded at Surfrider Beach in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Today, Surfrider is represented by 170 chapters and clubs nationwide, all focused on global ocean issues at the local level.
Surfrider Beach and the surrounding area of eastern Malibu is a site of cultural and historical significance -- representing three distinct periods of California coastal history recognized in the National Register of Historic Places. Each is dependent upon, and influenced by, the pattern and volume of flows into Malibu Lagoon and surrounding nearshore of Surfrider Beach. This area includes the Humaliwu village representing the Native American settlement period; the Adamson House representing the Spanish Rancho period; and the recent Malibu Historic District representing the post-war recreation and culture period, in this case surfing. 1
We write with our belief that the City of Malibu, through its authority defined in the Malibu Local Coastal Program (LCP), must develop a lagoon management plan to address local beach erosion at Surfrider Beach. We ask the City to exercise this authority in order to: 1) protect the area's cultural and historic resources, 2) improve public safety access across the beach, 3) reduce erosion-related beach maintenance costs, 4) provide an accessible beach of adequate width to support its visitors, and 4) protect the area’s surfing, a site of significant recreational value. The Malibu LCP states:
3.92 Lagoon breaching or water level modification shall not be permitted until and unless a
management plan for the lagoon in question is approved by the City and certified by the Coastal Commission as an amendment to the LCP, unless it can be demonstrated that there is a health or safety emergency, there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative, and all feasible mitigation measures will be implemented to minimize adverse environmental effects.
1 Humaliwu (NRHP #76000492); Adamson House (NRHP #77000298); Malibu Historic District (NRHP #100002022).
3.93 A lagoon management plan should be developed for Malibu Lagoon, in consultation with all
applicable resource management agencies. 2
The pattern of annual breaching at the lagoon’s eastern end endangers the area’s value as a historical, cultural, and recreational resource. There is also concern for coastal residences and businesses, particularly those near Malibu Pier, affected by the recurring erosion. Twice since 2010, California State Parks (a property owner within the area) has required emergency permits to address acute erosion threatening the historic Adamson House.
We agree with the Malibu Lagoon Action Committee’s Statement of Principles that:
● Elected officials must develop a Malibu Lagoon Management Plan to protect Malibu Beach’s cultural, historical, and recreational resources from erosions, not to conflict with activities, plans, or authorities to protect the area’s natural resources.
● The Malibu Creek Watershed, including Lower Malibu Creek, is subject to a number of artificial constraints which have altered the natural performance of the Malibu Lagoon.
● The Malibu Lagoon should initially breach each season at its far western end. This location is consistent with previous patterns of annual breaching and with modeling of water circulation performance studied as part of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration project.
● The number of days the Lagoon flows from its eastern end, in addition to the location of the initial seasonal breach, is a contributor to the pattern of dangerous erosion observed at Malibu Beach.
● Both short- and long-term efforts are required and complement each other. We do not advocate trading one for the other, nor do we prioritize one above the other. In the time required to develop and approve a lagoon management plan, short-term efforts to reduce the negative effects of seasonal erosion must be explored and, where possible, put into practice.
The Surfrider Foundation and the Malibu Surfing Association continue to be engaged with this issue. We welcome the opportunity to work with you, the City Council, the Malibu community, as well as relevant agencies, organizations, tribal representatives, and all interested parties.
Please contact any of us at your convenience with any questions. Thank you for your consideration.
Beth O’Rourke Co-President Paul Woodman Co-President Graham Hamilton Surfrider Foundation, LA Director
cc: Jefferson Wagner, Mayor (JWagner@malibucity.org) Karen Farrer, Mayor Pro Tem (KFarrer@malibucity.org) Rick Mullen, Councilmember (RMullen@malibucity.org) Skylar Peak, Councilmember (SPeak@malibucity.org) Mikke Pierson, Councilmember (MPierson@malibucity.org) Jules Hershfeld, President, Board of Directors, Adamson House Foundation (email@example.com)
2 City of Malibu Local Coastal Program, Chapter 3: Marine and Land Resources, Section C: Wetlands. Accessed May 7, 2018
<qcode.us/codes/malibu-coastal>. 3 Ambrose, R.F. and Orme, A.R., 2000. “Lower Malibu Creek and Lagoon Resource Enhancement and Management.” UCLA,
Final Report to the California Coastal Conservancy, May 2000. 4 Moffat & Nicol, 2005. “Final Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Plan”.
Surfrider Los Angeles Chapter, May 2018
"We respectfully implore you to work with your staff to amend the City's LCP and unite local stakeholders and agencies around a vision to adopt an ongoing adaptive management program for the Malibu Lagoon. We believe there are soft, low-impact solutions that can be explored to address chronic erosion at Surfrider Beach, and are pleased with the efforts of the Malibu Lagoon Action Committee (MLAC) and their preliminary concepts around how we might address this issue."
MALIBU LAGOON ACTION COMMITTEE
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
The Malibu Lagoon Action Committee is dedicated to the stewardship of Malibu Beach by addressing the issue of local beach erosion and conservation. We seek to protect the area's cultural and historic resources, improve public safety access across the beach, reduce beach maintenance costs, provide an accessible beach with adequate width to support its visitors, and protect the area's surfing quality. Malibu Beach is a site of significant recreational and cultural value. We advocate for these goals with the belief that:
1. The Malibu Creek Watershed, and certainly Lower Malibu Creek, is subject to a number of artificial constraints which have altered the natural performance of the Malibu Lagoon.
2. The Malibu Lagoon must initially breach each season at its far western end.
3. The number of days the Lagoon flows from its eastern end, in addition to the location of the initial seasonal breach, is a contributor to the pattern of erosion observed at Malibu Beach.
4. Elected officials, resource managers, and other interested parties must begin work immediately to develop a Malibu Lagoon Management Plan, as outlined, but not completely defined, in the Malibu Local Coastal Program.
5. In intervening time required to develop the above Malibu Lagoon Management Plan, short-term efforts to reduce the negative effects of seasonal erosion must be explored and, where possible, put into practice.
6. Short and long term efforts are both required and compliment each other. We do not trade one for the other. We do not prioritize one above the other.
7. Efforts to protect Malibu Beach's cultural, historical, and recreational resources do not conflict with activities, plans, or mandates to protect the area's natural resources.
I agree with the Malibu Lagoon Action Committee's Statement of Principles.