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Cleanup, dredging coming to Laguna Lake

Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 22:34:47-04

September will mark the beginning of a long term restoration project at Laguna Lake, the City of San Luis Obispo says.

A two-week dredging project will begin in mid-September. The project will work to remove the sediment buildup in the lake bed that comes from local runoff.

The natural lake, which sits between Laguna Middle School and the Madonna Inn, can be accessed from Dalidio Dr.

"Ongoing maintenance will help restore water quality over time, make the lake deeper and allow for more recreational activities," said Bob Hill, a Sustainability and Natural Resources Official for the city. "Ultimately, we're taking care of an important natural resource in our community."

Visitors to the area may see temporary closures of disc golf course holes and some parking spaces. The city says the rest of the area, including the full disc golf course, hiking trails, playground and dog park will remain open.

Laguna Lake and the surrounding reserve cover 344 acres. The reserve serves as a wildlife habitat and a recreational area.

Hill says the restoration project has been decades in the making.

"Over the years there has been a lot of sediment flowing into the lake because Prefumo Creek was re-routed in the 1960s," Hill said.

He says this decision has created management issues. If left alone, the lake will deteriorate. Laguna Lake has already seen toxic blue-green algae and other contaminants, thanks to sediment and runoff.

Laguna Lake sees runoff from the Prefumo Canyon, Sycamore Canyon and Los Osos Valley watersheds. About one to three inches of sediment are deposited in the lake bed every year.

The city says they plan to dredge Laguna Lake once every other year. They will also regularly monitor water quality.

The project costs $715,000 and is funded by local sales tax revenue.

The full project details, including the lake's history and the city's conservation plan, are available online.