Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation Project Update, September 27, 2011

The City of Los Angeles has been working to rehabilitate Echo Park Lake in order to improve its stormwater pollution problem, meet the State’s water quality standards, and give the Echo Park community a fresh and more sustainable lake to enjoy! Below is an update on the latest information about the Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation Project. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest updates regarding the Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation Project and more!

Project team addresses issues on odors, dead fish, and a coyote

Over the last week, the Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation project team has received concerns and inquiries about the lake draining and some other project events.  Steps have been taken to address the following concerns:

  • Coyote in project site
  • Dead fish
  • Odors
  • Turtle adoptions

Coyote in project site

The project team was notified by members of the community about a coyote that was spotted in the project site on Sunday, September 25th.  The team sought the assistance of a wildlife specialist from the Department of Animal Services who was on site on Monday, September 26th.  The specialist confirmed that a coyote was indeed on the Echo Park Lake park grounds during his inspection. The coyote was also seen coming and leaving the site several times overnight.

The project team believes that the coyote entered the park grounds through a project fence segment that was damaged by an accident on Echo Park Avenue over the last weekend.  The fence has been repaired and the project team is considering ways to further enhance the security of the fence.

To protect the birds at the park, a fence was erected around one of the temporary ponds most utilized by the birds.

If you see a coyote in your neighborhood, please stay away from it and call the Department of Animal Services immediately at 888-452-7381.

Dead fish

Even after a wildlife biologist captured more than 2,800 live fish for relocation from the lake, approximately 200 dead fish have floated to the surface of what remains of Echo Park Lake.  To avoid odors, the project team is removing the remaining fish on a daily basis.  Some challenges to quick action include the distance of the fish from the edge of the lake, and the instability of the lake bottom sediment to support the project team members and heavy-duty equipment needed to access these areas.  As the lake draining and drying completes over the next few weeks, the lake bottom will harden enough to support fish and sediment removal.

 

Odors

Odors from the bottom of the lake have been reported last week and the project team is constantly monitoring H2S levels at Echo Park Lake.  Odors are being mitigated with the application of lime. The team started applying lime last week, and this will continue over the next two weeks.

Anyone who observes odors from the Echo Park Lake area should call 213-978-0317 immediately.  Describe the odors in detail and the area where the odor was caught.

Turtles

The project team has rescued more than 90 turtles and handed them to the California Turtle and Tortoise Club’s rescue and adoption program.

The Echo Park Lake Rehabilitation project began this summer and will continue through spring 2013.  The $65-million improvement will drain, dredge and reline Echo Park Lake to help meet federal and state mandates for water quality.  It will also implement stormwater enhancements to prevent urban runoff from draining into the lake, as well as replant the beloved lotuses.

The project is funded by the $500-million Proposition O Clean Water Bond approved by Los Angeles voters in 2004.  It also provides monies for 31 other stormwater infrastructure improvements across the city to help meet clean water standards.  A citizens oversight advisory committee, comprised of environmental activists and community leaders, monitors the bond program, projects, budgets and schedules, and advises the elected officials on status.

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