Here's the deal -- one group of environmentalists wants to dredge and re-shape the Malibu Lagoon, a $7 million project they believe will save an ailing waterway. Another group of environmentalists say the lagoon's just fine, and the dredging will actually kill it. Surfers, meanwhile, are worried about what any change to the landscape will do to Surfrider Beach's famous wave.
Last week, a judge in San Francisco put the kibosh on the project, until at least September. Today, the New York Times catches up with a story of its own:
It was a cool weekday afternoon, but dozens of surfers were bobbing in the water, waiting for a wave. This was Malibu: the national symbol of surfing, adored by California wave riders for 50 years, near the famous stretch of coast where Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon partied on the beach.
These days, Malibu is renowned for something else: a court and civic battle that has pitted surfer against surfer, environmentalist against environmentalist and City Council member against City Council member. A $7 million plan to clean up the Malibu Lagoon -- its brackish waters clogged with silt and mud -- has stirred up a community that is more commonly identified with exclusivity and natural beauty than street protesters and smack-downs at City Council meetings.
The rest of the story is here.
Those beach party films? Actually shot at Leo Carillo, Corral, Topanga and Paradise Cove. The lagoon fight, meanwhile, has split the Malibu City Council, put surfers on edge, and has environmentalists going mano a mano.
Malibu. Gotta love it.
Malibu Lagoon photos from Flickr, via creative content.