Long Beach and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials formally signed an agreement Wednesday to share the cost of a $3 million study to determine whether the breakwater off the coast can be removed or reconfigured to help restore aquatic habitat without disrupting boats and coastal homes.
The East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study will evaluate options for increasing waves and water circulation in the bay and restoring wetlands while not disturbing maritime operations.
“I believe that getting the science and data will allow us to look at what our possibilities are,” Mayor Robert Garcia said.
The mayor said the breakwater — one of the largest in the country — “has changed our coast, it has changed our beach, it has changed the way we interact with the water.”
Garcia and Maj. Gen. Donald E. Jackson Jr. of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took part in a signing ceremony just off the sand within view of the breakwater to formalize the agreement, which was announced in November.
The Long Beach Breakwater is one of three in the area that prevents waves from rolling into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“The breakwater, built decades ago in part to protect the Navy fleet stationed in Long Beach, has dramatically changed our ecosystem, including water circulation and tidal flow,” Garcia said earlier. “The Army Corps will determine if ecosystem restoration is possible without damaging existing properties — including the port and most importantly coastal residences.”
The study is expected to take three years.
—City News Service