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Divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Vehicles

News Release

For Immediate Release: 8/18/2014

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Rindge Dam in Malibu Creek State Park to Close to Public

Craig Sap
(818) 880-0396


Calabasas, Calif. – The Rindge Dam area of Malibu Creek State Park will be closed to public access effective Thursday, August 21, 2014, until further notice.

 California State Parks’ Mission includes mandates to provide for the health of the people, preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, and protect its most valued natural resources. The closure of Rindge Dam is due to a variety of reasons related to public safety and protection of the environment. Specifically, this closure is intended to address the following concerns:

  • Public Safety - The dam is accessed by most on visitor created trails that were not designed for safety and are not maintained. This remote area is over a mile from legal parking, so most users walk along a winding stretch of roadway to reach access points to the dam. In addition, the Rindge Dam is an aging structure that was not intended as a recreation area. Rescuers responding to this area face challenging obstacles which limit that amount of emergency equipment they can bring to injured persons. Similarly, the response times are extremely delayed due to the terrain.
  • Erosion - Rindge Dam is located in a portion of Malibu Canyon with extremely steep slopes and no official trails. The only access is via visitor-created foot paths with loose rocks and poor footing. Vegetation is being uprooted by the constant use of these paths. The paths will serve as conduits for sediment into the creek during rain events. Breeding habitat for the endangered southern steelhead trout and other aquatic species will be degraded by the additional sediment load.
  • Sanitation – There are no restrooms and no trash receptacles at the dam and no feasible means of providing them. Human waste and trash are accumulating and create a public health hazard for visitors at the site. Storm flows wash these wastes into Malibu Creek and Malibu Lagoon, exacerbating existing water quality impairments by raising nutrient and bacteria levels. Plastic bottles and other trash wash out to the ocean, endangering wildlife.
  • Wildlife – Federally-endangered southern steelhead trout inhabit Malibu Creek below the dam. The health of this population is very precarious, due to various biological and physical factors. No fishing is allowed below the dam. Visitors have been noted in this area with spear guns and dogs, putting further pressure on this species. Also, New Zealand mud snails, an invasive exotic species, exist in the Malibu Creek watershed. The heavy human usage of the creek in this area will likely promote more rapid spread of this species, interfering with the aquatic food chain on which native aquatic species depend.

Signs will be posted along Rindge Dam to inform visitors.

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California State Parks Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.