818-597-8627 info@rcdsmm.org

For over 20 years, the RCD has been working with local and state agencies to restore Topanga Lagoon. The restoration of this vital ecosystem is paramount as it provides habitat to sensitive and endangered native species while also providing exciting recreation benefits to surfers, beachgoers and nature enthusiasts alike. In February of 2020, the first of several community meetings to gather public input regarding the restoration was held to better understand the priorities of varied community groups and members.

The 2nd public meeting occurred on February 27, 2021, with over 70 community members participating via Zoom. From surfers to restaurant owners, hotel managers, state parks representatives, naturalists, local concerned community members and natural resource professionals, attendees from every walk of life were present. This assorted set of voices painted a robust vision for the future of this critical ecosystem.

The RCD and State Parks facilitators presented several restoration alternatives to public stakeholders, each presenting various levels of ecological, historical and infrastructural restoration. Following a presentation to update participants on how input from the first meeting was used to direct alternative design development, the large group was randomly assigned to 13 Zoom Breakout Rooms, which allowed each attendee to share their thoughts on future restoration efforts in a smaller group environment. Each group then presented the five most important items from their conversations. This input will be used to further inform the restoration designs and ensure various concerns and priorities are considered.

The main take-away from our most recent meeting was that the community would like to see Topanga Lagoon restored to as big a footprint as feasible. All but one Breakout Room group prioritized some variation of Alternative 2, which presented the most lagoon habitat restoration, though several also noted aspects of Alternative 4 that they felt should be included in future design iterations. It should be noted that none of the alternatives represent finalized plans and all will be revised based on the input received. All Alternatives will be evaluated objectively during this phase of the project, with a preferred alternative not selected until the next phase of the project, which is formal environmental (CEQA) analysis.

We want to sincerely thank everyone who participated in the February meetings. If you have additional comments, please submit your thoughts via our website at the link below. We will be posting meeting notes, recordings, future events and other important information at the Topanga Lagoon Restoration webpage.

Our next community meeting will be held in December of 2021, where final 30% conceptual alternatives will be shared. These will be the basis of the subsequent CEQA/NEPA public review process that will ultimately result in selection of a preferred restoration alternative in 2022.  Please consider attending and continue to help us shape the future of this essential lagoon.