Rindge Dam Removal

Rindge Dam Removal

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Project Goal:

Remove an outdated dam in Malibu Creek canyon, a high priority steelhead recovery river with designated critical habitat for steelhead. This dam has reduced water storage capacity and poses a recreational hazard for the public.  Removal of Rindge Dam would restore 8.5 miles of aquatic habitat connectivity on Malibu Creek (between the Pacific Ocean and Century Dam (located farther upstream of Rindge Dam)), and barrier modification further upstream would restore an additional 9.5 miles of aquatic habitat along Cold Creek and Las Virgenes Creek.  The Removal Plan calls for habitat restoration in Malibu Creek canyon.


Restore 8.5 miles of aquatic habitat on Malibu Creek and 9.5 miles Cold Creek

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Project Stages

Relationship Building

Permitting Phase

Conceptual Design

Implementation

Completion

Estimated Completion Date:
2025 Construction

Region:

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Since the construction of Rindge Dam 90 years ago, Southern California steelhead have been blocked from reaching high quality spawning grounds in upper Malibu Creek, which is classified as a high-priority watershed for steelhead recovery. Rindge Dam also has degraded downstream conditions from capturing sediment and altering the natural streamflow. Located in Malibu Creek State Park and surrounding areas in the watershed, the project aims to restore about 525 acres of habitat in the Malibu Creek ecosystem and 18 miles of aquatic habitat connectivity by re-establishing a corridor from the Pacific Ocean to the interior of the Malibu Creek watershed. The process to remove Rindge Dam was formalized when the U.S. House of Representatives commissioned the “Malibu Creek Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study” in 1992, requesting a solution that improved the Malibu Creek watershed and the Malibu shoreline. The Army Corps of Engineers led this study to investigate ecosystem restoration opportunities within the Malibu Creek watershed, to improve aquatic and riparian ecosystem habitat connectivity and restore more natural sediment transport to the coast. This Feasibility Study completed in 2017 was signed off on in December 2020 by the Chief of Engineers at the Army Corps. The project includes removing the Rindge Dam concrete arch and spillway, an obsolete 100-foot-high nonfederal water supply dam; excavating about 780,000 cubic yards of sediment, which accumulated behind the dam decades ago; and transporting about 276,000 cubic yards of sand-rich material to a near-shore site east of Malibu Pier for temporary down-coast shoreline nourishment. The remaining sediment will be transported to the Calabasas Landfill. Removal of Rindge Dam offers a tractable and significant solution to reconnecting habitat for multiple species in this watershed that is internationally recognized as an exceptional natural resource. Removing Rindge Dam would provide fish passage for federally endangered southern steelhead and access to 18 miles of historical spawning and rearing habitat.

Project Partners:

California State Parks
Army Corps Engineers
National Marine Fisheries Service
Resource Legacy Fund
Surfrider
CalTrout

Latest Project Info:

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