Fourth District Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell has declared the month of May “Breakwater Awareness Month.” The Long Beach Breakwater is a federal structure that was originally built for the city’s naval base. Since the closing of the base, numerous advocacy groups have asserted that reconfiguring the Breakwater can improve water quality, as well as provide recreation opportunities and economic benefits to the city.
The City Council voted to undertake a reconnaissance study of the Long Beach Breakwater in order to determine federal interest in its reconfiguration, and, after years of study and advocacy, the Federal Army Corps of Engineers is expected to reach a decision in the coming months. O’Donnell, a longtime supporter of the Breakwater study, is announcing three upcoming events related to Breakwater Awareness Month. The first event will be a multi-media Breakwater exhibit at Shelter Surf Shop, 2148 E. 4th St., on Thursday, May 13 from 6pm to 8pm, entitled “Big Thursday,” which will provide a social forum for breakwater advocates, many of whom will be honored for their work in improving the region’s water quality.
O’Donnell will also host a surfing paddle-out at the beach, commemorating the Breakwater’s affect on wave and tidal activity. Dubbed “A Paddle Out in Memory of the Waves,” local surfers and residents are encouraged to attend this event with their surfboards and paddle out as a group in support of interest in the Breakwater study. The paddle-out will take place Saturday, May 22 from 10am to11:30am at the beach at Ocean Boulevard and Granada Avenue. The events will culminate in a community meeting Monday, May 24 from 7pm to 8:30pm at Ecco’s Pizza, 2123 Bellflower Blvd., during which Tom Modica with the City’s Government Affairs office will provide a review and update of the reconnaissance study. “These are three great events for one great cause,” said O’Donnell. ” I have long been an advocate of studying this issue as a means to clean our water, restore our shore and improve our local beach economy.” The events are free and open to the public.