COLORADO LAGOON RESTORATION PHASE 2B
Below are graphic renderings of the Colorado Lagoon site after the plant establishment period.
PLANNED CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES (FALL 2016)
The Long Beach City Council awarded a Construction Contract to Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. on May 24, 2016 to perform the Phase 2B restoration activities at the Colorado Lagoon. The restoration activities will consist of grading and re-contouring the north shore and the side slopes of the north arm to allow for the creation of new intertidal habitat, subtidal habitat, and eelgrass beds. The creation of approximately 25,000 square feet of new subtidal habitat is necessary to comply with the City’s compensatory mitigation requirement for the Naples Island Seawall Repair Program and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
The construction activities will involve hydraulic dredging to achieve a balanced cut and fill of the site. The cut and fill will allow for the creation of new subtidal habitat in the north shore, and shallow subtidal habitat in the north arm to support eelgrass plantings. The work will also include the extension of the floating footbridge/pier, which will require driving sixteen new piles to support the extended structure. The existing staircases leading to the floating footbridge/pier will be replaced with ADA-accessible ramps. The guardrails along the footbridge/pier will be polished and repainted. A trail entrance specified of decomposed granite is planned at the corner of the golf course and 6th Street and will traverse through the north shore and connect to the extended footbridge. Benches, split rail fencing, interpretive signage will be installed along the trail and entrance, and seating is proposed at the promontory. Bike racks to support the City’s Livability Initiative will be installed on 6th Street at the trail entrance. Pursuant to the Coastal Development Permit obtained, a vegetated bioswale to capture and filter urban runoff will be installed between the golf course and Lagoon, and existing non-native plants and trees will be removed in compliance with regulatory conditions. These will be replaced with a palette of California native plant species that have been approved by the resource agencies.
PROJECT DETAILS AND BACKGROUND
The Colorado Lagoon (Lagoon) is an 18-acre saltwater tidal lagoon located at 5119 East Colorado Street. It is hydraulically connected to Alamitos Bay and the Pacific Ocean through a 900-foot underground concrete box culvert located under Marina Vista Park. The Lagoon serves three primary functions: it hosts estuarine habitat, it provides public recreation (including swimming), and it retains and conveys storm water. The Lagoon site was formerly part of the vast Los Cerritos Wetlands and was naturally connected to what is now Marine Stadium. Over the course of several decades, an accumulation of contaminants resulting from stormwater runoff, in combination with the muting of the tidal exchange, helped contribute to the listing of the Lagoon on the Federal Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired water bodies due to elevated levels of Organochlorine (OC) Pesticides, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Sediment Toxicity, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals in fish tissue and sediment for the Lagoon.
The restoration program at the Lagoon has been guided by the Colorado Lagoon Master Restoration Plan (Feasibility Study) and by the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) adopted by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2009. Many of the components of the Restoration Plan and TMDL implementation plan have already been completed, including the rerouting of stormdrains, installation of trash capture devices, construction of low flow diversion systems, and through the dredging and removal of contaminated sediment in the Lagoon.
The efforts to restore the ecological value of one of Southern California’s last remaining coastal lagoons have been on-going and phased. Phase 1 was completed in August 2012, and consisted of several components to improve water and sediment quality. Phase 2 consists of two subphases: Phases 2A and 2B. Phase 2A will involve the proposed construction of an open, earthen hydraulic water channel to reconnect the Lagoon to Marine Stadium. Phase 2B, scheduled for construction in fall 2016, consists of creating new subtidal and intertidal habitat, planting eelgrass, and revegetation using California native plant species to help satisfy mitigation requirements.
The Phase 2B project is fully funded and a construction contract for the work was awarded by the City Council on May 24, 2016. The Open Channel project (Phase 2A) is ready to proceed with the first phases of engineering, which includes preparing preliminary, value-engineered designs and preparing regulatory permit applications. On June 30, 2016, the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding between the City Manager Department and Harbor Department for the Port’s continued participation in the Colorado Lagoon Open Channel Restoration Project, and approved a funding contribution in the amount of $350,000 to help fund these efforts. City Council approval to award a design contract and accept the funding will be reviewed by the City Council on August 16, 2016.
The design team (award pending) will only be authorized to proceed with initial design tasks and Staff anticipates to return to City Council at a later date for award of the remaining design scope of services, including detailed design, bid phase and construction support services.
The Colorado Lagoon Restoration Project was subject to an environmental review and analysis pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR 30-07) for the proposed project and released the document for public review in May 2008. On September 4, 2008 the Planning Commission adopted a Resolution certifying the Final EIR. The approval was appealed to the City Council. On October 14, 2008, the City Council upheld the Planning Commission’s approval, denied the appeal, certified the Final EIR, and approved the Colorado Lagoon Master Restoration Project.
On October 7, 2010, the Planning Commission approved an Addendum to a previously certified EIR. On November 16, 2010, the City Council upheld the Planning Commission decision to approve the Addendum to the previously certified Final EIR and denied two appeals related to the Planning Commission decision.
The Resolution adopted by the City Council on November 16, 2010 approved and certified the Addendum to the Final EIR in accordance with CEQA, and made findings in support of the Project.
COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT
CDP No. 5-09-071-A2 June 8, 2015
COASTAL COMMISSION STAFF REPORT
Item F10b, May 15, 2015