View of Oxford basin looking toward the Marina City Club from a pathway between Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard in Marina del Rey.
VIEW OF BRACKISH WATER and overgrown weeds at Oxford Basin.
(Argonaut photos by T.W. Brown)

Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors staff told the Small Craft Harbor Commission April 8th that the deadline for public comment about the boat slip sizing/pricing study by consultants to the county has been extended to Wednesday, April 22nd.

Public comments can be e-mailed to The commission also heard a presentation on the Oxford Retention Basin Flood Protection Multi-use Enhancement Project.

County officials said the public comment period would be extended because during public comment, speakers said the boat slip sizing study and a separate study on slip pricing that had not been previously announced, were presented at the Small Craft Harbor Commissionís March 18th meeting, and there was not enough time to review the studies.

These studies have not yet been completed and the county was asking for comments from both the public and commission regarding the studies, said Santos Kreimann, Department of Beaches and Harbors director.


Greg Jaquez, a civil engineer in the Watershed Management Division of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, presented the Oxford basin project information.

The Oxford flood control basin is comprised of approximately 11 acres. This storm water drainage basin is designed to collect storm water runoff from the surrounding areas, which then drains, via an approximately 400-foot-long underground line, into the marina, according to California Coastal Commission documentation.

The Oxford basin is bordered by Washington Boulevard and residential development along Oxford Avenue to the north, Admiralty Way to the south, a public parking lot to the west, and Yvonne Burke Park to the east.

Local residents have long sought cleaning and restoration of the basin for flood protection, environmentally sensitive habitat areas, foul odors and aesthetic reasons.

Jaquez said that the Oxford basin ownership is with the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District.

Stakeholders include Los Angeles County, the Department of Beaches and Harbors, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the Cities of Los Angeles and Culver City, and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Project funding sources include the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, the County of Los Angeles, Marina del Rey Watershed tributary agencies and grant opportunities.

Suggestions were made at the meeting that county Supervisor Don Knabe ó who represents the Fourth District which includes Marina del Rey ó petition the federal government for funds from the economic stimulus package to assist with the project.

Knabeís deputy Steve Napolitano told the commission that the supervisor is already working on that recommendation.

Public speakers and commission members suggested that the project be pushed forward for quicker completion after they heard the scheduled starting and completion dates of the project.

Jaquez said that the cost estimate for the entire project is $13.5 million. The breakdown includes $5 million for basin excavation and construction; $3.6 million for the Oxford Avenue relief drain and Oxford Pump Plant upgrade; $800,000 for water quality improvement; and $4.1 million for multiuse landscape and recreation enhancement.

Jaquez said that the project schedule for concept and outreach is ongoing; design and award permitting are anticipated for July 2012; the award construction contract for January 2013; construction to start in April 2013; and construction to be completed in April 2014.

Focus areas of the project are flood protection, water quality, aesthetics, passive recreation and operation and maintenance.

Under flood protection, the concern is the accumulation of sediment, reduced retention capacity and flooding, said Jaquez. A proposed solution includes excavation and removal of deposited materials, construction of a relief drain along Oxford Avenue and the upgrading of the Oxford Pumping Plant.

Water quality concerns include the Oxford Retention Basin discharging into Basin E in Marina del Rey ó on Palawan Way, bordered by Admiralty Way ó bacteria and toxins.

Jaquez said possible solutions include a water and sediment quality study, bioremediation of existing sludge and sediments, excavation and removal of sediments, a re-design basin for sediment control during storms, implementation of Best Management Practices, upgraded trash collection devices and water quality treatment devices.

Concerns regarding dry weather include the stagnant oxygen-deprived water, foul odors, sludge build-up, algae, bacterial growth and toxin accumulation.

During wet weather, the concern is for untreated stormwater runoff.

Proposed solutions include bioremediation, mechanical circulation, high volume aeration, treatment of wetland, sediment settling basins and a disinfection system.

Regarding aesthetics, concerns are that the area is an eyesore and has a proliferation of non-native plants.

Proposed solutions include landscaping with native trees and shrubs, ornamental steel perimeter fencing, observation decks and benches, and interpretive signage.

Among the concerns in the passive recreation category are that there are limited existing recreational amenities, a lack of separate facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, and a lack of pedestrian connectivity.

A separate walking/jogging path around the perimeter of the basin and observation decks and benches are considered as proposed solutions.

Operation and maintenance concerns include trash in the basin and sediment control. Constructing a boat landing to access basin banks for trash collection, upgrading trash collection devices at storm drain outlets and confining sediment to more manageable areas are proposed solutions.

The Oxford basin project can be viewed online. Scroll down on main page to ìImportant Announcements ñ Dept. of Public Works Oxford Basin Presentation, 3/26/09.î