|Save Malibu Lagoon Supporters on Peaceful Walk|
Many hours of my childhood were spent by Scottish lochs, picnicking and watching birds. Although certainly much warmer, Malibu Lagoon fulfilled this remembered idyll. I would take sandwiches and my camera, and wander down winding paths through undergrowth, rich with plants and shrubs and nostalgic smells:
Sometimes a rabbit, hiding in the undergrowth:
Then I would arrive at the bank on the North West side of the Lagoon- so near the Pacific Coast Highway, but you might be miles away...There I would sit on a tuft of grass, in Heaven, gazing around me...it was always different, always unexpected. When the Brown Pelicans were about there was the constant loud report of them landing on the water and beating their wings, thus creating a musical beat in the background. Here are some sitting together:
Cormorants were a constant visitor, always stretching out their wings to shake the water off:
And just a few weeks ago, there was a Mallard with her nine ducklings- how are they now, I wonder?
Ahead of me, there was the little island, nearly always occupied:
And beyond the island, there was the busy beach, with colourful, out of scale bathers and surfers:
The Heron family- the Great Blue Heron, the Black Crowned Night Heron, the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret- are among my favourite birds and were a constant delight. Here is the Great Blue Heron:
Here are Great Egrets fishing:
Now they are joined by a Black Crowned Night Heron:
Two of the Night Herons, waiting patiently for food:
So many amazing birds- I've just shown a few...
When I took these last photos, I knew they were probably the final ones I would take before this Paradise for me and the birds was demolished. Sure enough, when I next went, 6' high fences, covered in tarpaulin, had been erected all round the perimeters and I was faced with this notice:
Restoration and ENHANCEMENT?? California State Parks, backed by the California Coastal Commission, seem to think this is so...they want to turn it into some sort of sterile, concrete Amusement Park. Their excuse for dredging the lagoon is the contaminated water but scientists say their plan will not solve it, the contamination coming from the hills above. Somehow, they can bypass laws- laws protecting birds in the nesting season, laws protecting endangered species- in this case: the Tidewater Goby fish, the Least Terns and the Snowy Plovers- all of whom seem to be able to survive the contamination...
The bulldozers were not then yet in action, but last Sunday- June 17th- I went again- so very, very sad- and this is only the beginning....
One of their first actions was to uproot 7 Sycamore (London Plane) trees- proudly announcing that the trees were going to remain on the site, some in the water for birds to perch on and some as park benches...likewise, we were told all forms of wildlife were being rescued- really? Above and below are the remains of the trees:
Piles of earth and discarded undergrowth everywhere, and below you can see one of the delightful wooden bridges that lead you through the centre of the lagoon on your way to the beach- they are being removed too:
And finally, this wasteland....