A $14.5-million restoration has transformed a smelly flood control basin in Marin del Rey into a pretty park with a scenic nature loop. A walking trail and refreshed bike path now encircle the basin, and a new, lowered perimeter fence affords better views of the water and wildlife.
The Oxford Retention Basin, which is bounded by Washington Boulevard, Oxford Avenue and Admiralty Way, was built in 1959 on the site of an old municipal dump to prevent flooding in nearby communities. Over time, sediment buildup and a lack of circulation contaminated the water and produced foul odors.
KPCC reports that the Department of Public Works removed close to 3,000 acre feet of contaminated soil to cut down on the smell. It also added new tide gates to better disperse water in and out of the basin.
At the water’s edge, foreign and invasive vegetation was ripped out and replaced with plants native to Southern California. According to the Department of Public Works, these local species are more drought-tolerant and will help to attract more native wildlife to the area.
Six "observation decks" with informational signs highlighting the local flora and fauna were added around the basin.
Overall, 730 new trees and 45,000 plants have been planted around the basin. As photos show, not all of them have fully grown in yet, but once given the chance to mature, they will make the area a lush environment that county officials hope will be a popular attraction with residents.