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KEN MALLOY HARBOR REGIONAL PARK IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM A RESCUE PLAN FOR THE MOST PRECIOUS TREASURE OF THE SOUTH BAY

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Abstract:

Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park (KMHRP or Park) is a 231-acre Los Angeles City Park serving Wilmington and Harbor City areas as well as the South Bay region. The Park contains 40-acre Machado Lake, one of the last wetlands in Los Angeles, which also serves as a flood control retention basin during storm events. The Lake receives stormwater runoff from a network of storm drains covering the 25 square mile watershed area. Boating and fishing were originally allowed in the Lake, and until recently fish were stocked in the Lake.

As water quality deteriorated and toxic sediment accumulated, boating was stopped and signs have been posted with warnings about the risk of eating fish from the Lake. The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) has identified Machado Lake as an impaired body of water. Mosquitoes have been a chronic problem that has been exacerbated by flourishing tule growth in the accumulated sediments along the east shore. In the last 15 years, various water quality improvement projects have been implemented including, dredging, installation of aeration pipes, and frequent removal of aquatic plants. None of these have proven successful in eliminating the problems.

In addition to the water quality problems, much of the habitat within the Park has been degraded almost to the point of being unrecoverable. Lack of funding and human resources from the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) has driven the Park Advisory Board (PAB) and the Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society (Audubon) to take initiatives to rescue the park. In 2000, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation awarded a grant fund through the City of Los Angeles RAP for use towards park improvement. The initial phase of the project includes studies and development of: 1) a Habitat Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Design Development Report (DDR); 2) a Machado Lake Watershed Management Plan (WMP); and 3) a KMHRP Master Plan Update. A comprehensive 18-month study commenced in December 2000.

This project is the first attempt to rescue the Park using a watershed management approach. Based on the results of very comprehensive studies, key immediate, intermediate, and long-term actions have been outlined. It has been concurred by agencies and interested parties that the plan, if fully implemented, will bring a most precious treasure of the City of Los Angeles back to the people in the nearby communities as well as native plants and animals of the area, the value of which cannot be quantified.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864702784249123

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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