As contractors begin to fence off Malibu Lagoon Friday, activists say they are prepared to stand up to bulldozers in opposition.
The battle over whether or not to drain and clean Malibu Lagoon has waged in the wealthy beachside town for at least a decade, ABC reports above. Now, after facing multiple delays and lawsuits, the project certainly appears to be moving forward.
Opponents include surfers, environmentalists, locals and celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis. They argue that the project is unnecessary, would destroy the lagoon and would flatten waves at Surfrider Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Proponents leading the effort include the state of California, government scientists, environmental groups and some locals. They say that the lagoon is a dumping ground and needs to be restored.
In a May letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, the Wetlands Defense Fund wrote, “Rare and endangered wildlife and nests will be crushed. Survivors will flee the fumes and deafening clatter, never to return,” the Topanga Messenger reports.
Third-generation Malibu surfer, Andy Lyons, told SurfWire that he believes the dewatering process will move too much sand and sediment down the point. "Once they start, it's over, it's gone, it possibly will be the end of Malibu," he said. "I don't see how it won't turn it into the worst surf spot ever."
After a petition filed by the Wetlands Defense Fund was denied, there's been talk among some opponents of a "Occupy Malibu" movement as a last resort, according to SurfWire.
The 13-acre Malibu lagoon, a regular stop for herons and egrets, is on one of the California's most popular and scenic stretches of coast, ABC reports.
UPDATE: The restoration project has been postponed until Monday while a new drainage plan is evaluated, the Times reports. A California State Parks official also said that they wanted to avoid interfering with a surfing event Saturday benefiting children with autism.
Click through photos of Malibu Lagoon and the fight to save it: