The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday unanimously agreed to fund a $26.3 million project to improve water and habitat quality of the Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach, in exchange for environmental mitigation credits that would allow for future development at the nation’s second-busiest seaport.
The project calls for re-establishing the tidal flow between the Colorado Lagoon and Alamitos Bay via an open channel, aimed at increasing the biodiversity of marine and saltwater species while simultaneously enhancing the coastal ocean environment.
The agreement requires final approval from the Long Beach City Council.
“The Board is pleased to partner with the City to revitalize an environmental asset that serves all of Long Beach as a place to rest, play and gather,” said Tracy Egoscue, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “Restoring and improving the Colorado Lagoon will allow marine and coastal wildlife to thrive, while also offering recreational opportunities for our community.”
The Long Beach Public Works Department would be responsible for implementing this final step of the Colorado Lagoon Restoration Project, a multiyear effort by the community to revitalize this rare and significant resource within the city.
The Port provided more than $2.3 million to fund the earlier phase of the Lagoon restoration, which included vegetation replanting, cleaning an underground channel and dredging and disposing of contaminated sediment.
In exchange for funding the final phase of the restoration project, the Port of Long Beach will receive environmental mitigation credits that will allow options for future Port redevelopment. The Port previously funded the restoration of an ecologically important saltwater marsh at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach under a similar agreement.
The deal aligns with objectives outlined in the Port’s updated Strategic Plan, which calls for developing and maintaining state-of-the-art infrastructure, along with improving the environment.
“This is a long-term investment the Port is making with the City to achieve a large-scale restoration for the Colorado Lagoon,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “As the Green Port, we are committed to environmental stewardship.”