Redondo Beach Seaside Lagoon could open year round thanks to $10 million State grant
by Rachel Reeves
A $10 million state grant to “rehabilitate” Seaside Lagoon could enable its use year round, Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand said this week.
The heated, saltwater lagoon, at the corner of Harbor Drive and Portofino Way, has only been open during the summer months. It hosts the annual Lobster Festival as well as various other concerts and events. In August, the lagoon will be drained to make space for BeachLife Festival.
The lagoon has also confronted its share of trouble. It survived the Northridge earthquake and water quality issues that led to fines from regulatory agencies, threatening its closure more than once. This is largely because the lagoon is filled by saltwater that’s heated as it passes through the turbines at the AES power plant on Herondo Drive, subjecting the water quality to two regulatory agencies.
The city spent $1.2 million in upgrading the lagoon in 2012, indicating the council’s willingness to continue to support the facility.
Gov. Gavin Newsom allocated the $10 million when he signed the state budget this week, following efforts by state lawmakers Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. Seaside Lagoon sits on state land
“The Redondo Beach Seaside Lagoon hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, and this rehabilitation project will protect our environment, provide improved amenities for the public, and transition the property to year-round access for all Angelenos and Californians looking to enjoy its facilities,” said Senator Allen, who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, and serves on the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.
Councilmember Todd Loewenstein, who represents District 2, where Seaside Lagoon is located, said Seaside Lagoon is the city’s busiest park.
“We were fearing it was near its life’s end and we needed to get started with a new solution,” he said. “This funding will provide us with the opportunity to do so in the Seaside Lagoon. We are grateful to Senator Allen for stepping up and realizing the importance of this facility to his constituents, not just in Redondo Beach but all over the community.”
“This is an historic allocation that will jumpstart our efforts to remake the Seaside Lagoon,” Mayor Bill Brand said of the $10 million allocation from the state. “While we expect this to cost at least another $10 million to make it a year-round swim facility that can serve many other public uses, this will be for public use that serves everyone, of every generation, of every income level, who wants to enjoy the California coast in a safe and clean environment.”
When Brand posted the news on his Facebook page this week, many of his followers responded with ideas and suggestions for upgrades. These included a lap pool, a facility focused on teaching water-based safety and activities, a beach, a wave pool. As yet, there is no master plan for the rehabilitation project. ER