Colorado Lagoon Gets Better

Kirt Ramirez

A man and his dog cross the calm water via a long bridge.

Birds chirp early in the morning, pigeons coo and seagulls squawk as ducks float atop the calm pond. Various fowl stop by, ranging from great blue herons to spotted sandpipers. The location is the Colorado Lagoon; a peaceful place to walk, swim and play.

Fourth Street going east from Ximeno Avenue leads right into the wetland, where trees, green grass, a children’s playground, concrete picnic tables and walking paths provide a park look. But the water, beach sand and lifeguard posts resemble the strand.

The lake got poor grades from Heal the Bay in the past for its pollution and wasn’t a desirable place to go swimming.

But the Colorado Lagoon has cleaned up.

“Many of you will remember when the lagoon was nothing more than a stagnant pond filled with run-off water,” said Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price in an emailed newsletter to her constituents. “But today it has water quality rated at an A level, making it a great place for recreation of all kinds.”

Price described the lagoon as “fantastic” and added “it is only going to be getting better.

“Continuing to improve this small treasure in the heart of the Third District is one of the main reasons I chose to run for reelection. It holds a special place in my heart, and as a result I have been deeply involved in every step of its recent improvements along with the amazingly dedicated Friends of Colorado Lagoon,” said Price, who also thanked Mayor Robert Garcia and city staff.

Recreation enhancements include renovation of the bridge, the establishment of a walking path on the lagoon’s north side and other upgrades.

“This recreation is made even better by the fact that the recent restoration project made significant ecological improvements, including the creation habitat for native birds and sea life by planting native trees and shrubs along the shores, and planting eel grass in the lagoon,” she added.

Meanwhile, the last step of rehabilitation involves an “open channel” project, which recently received approval by the Coastal Commission. Price said she, city staff and community members have been working on the plan.

“This project would construct a channel between Marine Stadium and the Colorado Lagoon to create additional tidal flow,” she explained.

“An open channel means even better water quality in the lagoon, and further enhanced habitat for animals and sea life. But it also does something particularly amazing through its funding as a mitigation site. Through this creative funding structure we are able to benefit the future of the lagoon while creating a valuable wetlands habitat in an urban environment.”

Price said the project would need to be approved by the Harbor Commission, followed by the City Council.

“I cannot say enough good things about the Colorado Lagoon restoration project, and I cannot wait to see this incredible treasure made even more wonderful.”


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