Every day paparazzi capture the latest fashion trends, complicated love lives and naughty escapades of Malibu’s triple-A-list celebs, but one of the city’s dirtiest secrets has just been cleaned up! The glamorous city of 13,000 is now leading the way in stopping toxic stormwater and chemical-laden urban runoff from destroying its glamorous coastline.
To combat this serious ecological threat, Malibu has created one of the state’s most innovative and ambitious clear water protection projects. I was excited to see its centerpiece, Legacy Park, a 34-million dollar environmental project completed last year that transformed 15 acres in the heart of Malibu into a central park that acts as an environmental cleaning machine. This state-of-the-art project captures up to 2.6 million gallons per day of stormwater and urban runoff for treatment and disinfection. When clean, the stormwater is reused to irrigate the park.
Although controversial at first, Legacy Park is now proving popular with Malibu residents and some of the 15 million tourists who visit the city every year. The park is also a magnet to a startling variety of birds and other creatures, attracted by the newly planted shrubs, trees and grasses, all native to California.
In this latest edition of “Caught in the Act,” I visit Legacy Park where I meet with Malibu Mayor John Sibert, the Surfrider Foundation’s Paul Herzog and Los Angeles County Senior Deputy Susan Nissman. They reveal how other communities can learn from their experience how to preserve and protect the environment from polluted stormwater and urban runoff.
Regardless of where we live, we can plant gardens that are not only beautiful, but also resourceful and wildlife-friendly, all while preventing dangerous runoff. Read more about how you can create your own garden here.
- To learn more about Legacy Park visit malibulegacy.org
- To learn how to deal with urban runoff in your community, visitsurfrider.org/programs/entry/ocean-friend-gardens.org
- To learn more about Creative Visions Foundation visit creativevisions.org