The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was not able to determine how the berm separating the Malibu Lagoon from the ocean was breached over the weekend, a California State Parks official said Monday.
“It’s pretty much impossible to track,” said Tom Dore, a public information officer for California State Parks.
Dore added that Fish and Wildlife officials came out to see what impact the opening of the lagoon had on the fish and other wildlife.
“We have found no fish,” Dore said. “They have been swept out into the ocean or they went up stream.”
He said oxygen measurements were taken at the lagoon Monday.
“The oxygen levels currently are such that they could not sustain fish life,” Dore said.
Dore said he expects the sandbar that separates the lagoon from Surfrider Beach to close naturally in the next few days.
The project's contractor, Ford E.C., Inc., has been preparing to put in a dike separating the main body of the Malibu Lagoon from the channels in order to drain the water through a process called dewatering.
Dore said that the dewatering plan accounted for the change in conditions.
“We didn’t plan on being at this point right now. This is where we would be once the dewatering started,” Dore said.
Craig Sap, District Superintendent for Los Angeles District, said State Parks plans to keep an open investigation into the breach.
He said the dewatering plan is still in draft form because the conditions at the lagoon changed, and the plan could be available to the public as early as Friday.
"They want to make sure it is correct," Sap said.
The Malibu City Council has requested a copy of the plan from the California Coastal Commission through a public records request.
City Manager Jim Thorsen said the city met with State Parks 10 days ago to talk about the dewatering plan.
“We’re hoping to get the dewatering plan because we want to review it,” Thorsen said.
At the Malibu City Council meeting on Monday, several Malibu residents and activists asked for an investigation into the breach of the berm.
“Was this an environmental crime or an act of nature?” said former Malibu City Council candidate Missy Zeitsoff.
Andy Lyon of Malibu said he is being blamed for breaching the lagoon.
"How the hell did they breach it with all the rangers in town," Lyon said.