MACHADO LAKE Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project and
Multi-Use Project

Machado Lake and the Wilmington Drain form an interconnected open space near Wilmington and Harbor City. Machado Lake is located in the Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park. The lake and park are important recreational and natural area resources for Harbor and South Bay residents who have used the area for picnics, fishing, bird watching, boating, canoeing, and hiking.

The Wilmington Drain is a channelized stream that conveys urban runoff and stormwater flows to Machado Lake and ultimately to the Los Angeles Harbor. Originally a natural stream, most of it is now concrete-lined. It is currently managed by Los Angeles County as a flood control channel. The lake and drain have both been identified as impaired water bodies as a result of pollution in stormwater and urban runoff flowing from its 15,553-acre watershed. The Wilmington Drain feeds more than half of the water that flows into Machado Lake, so its water quality is of great importance.

Approved Prop O Projects


Major issues that will be addressed in the project design include:
Water Quality & Regulatory Requirements:
The Wilmington Drain was identified by the State of California as an impaired water body for bacteria, ammonia, copper and lead. Machado Lake is listed for trash, algae, ammonia, odor, and legacy pollutants from historical use of pesticides and discharge of lubricants. Improvements to the water quality of the Wilmington Drain will enhance its beneficial uses, as well as those at Machado Lake and the Los Angeles Harbor. Similarly, improvements to Machado Lake will benefit the Harbor in addition to the lake itself.
Diminishing of coastal wetlands ecosystems and impacts to native wildlife: Machado Lake and the Wilmington Drain contain one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands ecosystems in Southern California. The unlined portions of Wilmington Drain are dominated by exotic plant species that have displaced native plants that formerly provided habitat and food sources for wildlife. Biological communities at Machado Lake are also diminished due to hydrologic constraints, past and present recreational needs, and water quality degradation.
Shortage of neighborhood and community parks: The City of Los AngelesÕ Public Recreation Plan includes a park acreage goal of four acres per 1,000 people. The Wilmington and Harbor City communities have only 0.68 acres per 1,000 people. This shortage of parks is inconsistent with the Public Recreation Plan and can affect the health and quality of life of the nearby residents and the city as a whole.

Flood Control: The Wilmington Drain has a flood control function and must convey a 50-year storm. Any modifications to the Wilmington Drain must accommodate these storm events as well as operation and maintenance requirements established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.
Lake and Park Operation and Maintenance: Any proposed modifications should simplify consider operational & maintenance impacts, and to the extent possible require no additional staffing.

Machado Lake
The broad goal of the project is ÒTo improve the water quality conditions, visual aesthetics, and biological diversity of the ecosystem to attain and sustain its desired uses and characteristics (i.e., recreational fishing, wildlife habitat, environmental education), and to meet Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements and other water quality targets.Ó

The effort will be accomplished through integrated ecological and engineering strategies and solutions involving watershed-based management approaches, in-lake rehabilitation and streambed assessment techniques, riparian system enhancements, and stormwater best management practices (BMPs) at strategic areas in the park.
Wilmington Drain
The overall project goal for the Wilmington Drain is ÒTo reduce trash, coliform, heavy metals, total suspended solids, and nitrogen and to aid the City in meeting the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements for Machado Lake, the Los Angeles Harbor and San Pedro Bay within the Dominguez Watershed.Ó The project will provide the surrounding community with public-use facilities, including active recreational opportunities including biking, jogging, and passive recreation (e.g., nature study, educational areas, interpretive exhibits, and wildlife viewing areas).

If you have questions or comments, please call the outreach coordinator at (213) 590-0117. The project description, concepts and design are preliminary and subject to change.