Colorado Lagoon Restoration

Location: Los Angeles County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Completed

Habitat Type: Public Access/Recreation, Tidal Wetland, Water Quality

Date Completed: 8/21/2012

Cost: $8,725,800

Area Affected: 15 acres

Assembly District: 70

Senate District: 34

Congressional District: 47

Project Lead/Grantee:
City of Long Beach (Eric Lopez, 562-570-5690)

This project achieved treatment and disposal of contaminated sediments from the West Arm of Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach, CA. The project was divided into phases and Phase I completed in August 2012. Phase I involved improvements at Colorado Lagoon and consisted of the following elements: dredging and removal of 33,000 cubic yards of sediment, re-countouring lagoon banks, diverting low-flow runoff, installing trash collection devies, creating two vegetated bioswales, clearing tidal culverts, demolishing the northern paved parking lot, re-vegetating former parking area, constructing public trails, and replacing observation pier.

The Colorado Lagoon is historically part of the greater Los Cerritos Wetlands. Once a thriving ecosystem that encompassed most of East Long Beach with borders that included portions of what is now California State University, Long Beach, the Wetlands complex totaled about 2400 acres. The Lagoon has undergone many changes since the land began being utilized by oil operations in the late 19th century. Colorado Lagoon today measures about 13 acres, with many area homes situated on historic wetlands.

Although the tides are muted, the connection to Alamitos Bay is partially restricted and the watershed is polluted, many fish still find their way into the waters and birds continue to migrate to the Lagoon. It remains a vital and necessary refuge for wildlife and native species.