By Joe Piasecki
Marina del Rey locals and Los Angeles County officials may not always agree about new construction, but just about everyone who attended last Thursday’s grand reopening of Marina (aka Mother’s) Beach appeared to be thrilled with its new look.
Where dilapidated concrete picnic and restroom enclosures once off the sandy horseshoe terminus of D Basin there are now clearer views of sea and sky. Shiny aluminum shade covers tilt like vintage Googie diner awnings or, considering the genius loci, sails catching the wind. Even the new restroom enclosure’s concrete siding reflects sense of place, with muted shades of blue and grey blending with the restored harbor view.
“After nine months of construction, Mother’s Beach is back and better than ever. These new picnic shelters are beautiful, the landscaping and new design is gorgeous, and the brand new grills and picnic tables are ready for summer barbecues,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn declared during a ribbon cutting ceremony that included just about every kid who showed up to run and play on the newly reopened beach.
The celebration continued into evening, with hundreds of people hanging out on the sand, exploring the weekly Beach Eats food truck festival offerings and dancing to live 1970s and ’80s soft rock tunes by tribute band Yachtley Crew.
“We wanted something that was going to stand out, but we didn’t want it to get in the way of people seeing the water,” Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors Director Gary Jones said of the new design. “Opening it up enables it to be more welcoming, helps us keep it clean — keep an eye on it better — and really makes it as functional as possible.”
One of the more subtle highlights is a new drainage system that connects to underground storm water filtration tanks, collecting and treating urban runoff before releasing it not just away from the swim area but completely outside of D Basin.
After several years of failing water quality grades, Mother’s Beach moved all the way up to an “A” rating in Heal the Bay’s current Beach Report Card — improvement attributed to discouraging bird roosting, repairing damaged water circulators, and an extended period of reduced human activity.
“This is a big deal!” Hahn touted.
David Levine, president of the Marina del Rey Lessees Association, said residential and commercial property managers are thrilled with the improvements.
“It’s great to see Mother’s Beach revitalized and its water quality improved … the cleanliness of the beach and the cleanliness of the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s open and it’s colorful and it’s inviting.”