In the 1950s, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to carve a 1.5-mile swath out of the Ballona Wetlands to create what is now known as Marina Del Rey. The Oxford Basin, sandwiched between Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way, was little more than an afterthought in this process, intended only as a means for controlling water flow into and out of the Marina. However, more a half-century later, the County's Department of Public Works (LACDPW) has begun work on a series of functional and aesthetic improvements which will allow the utilitarian basin to function more like a public park.
The Oxford Basin Multiuse Enhancement project, budgeted at $14.5 million, is expected to enhance flood protection, reduce stormwater pollution and improve the facility's ecosystem. Upgrades will include the removal of sediment from the basin, as well as the addition of native landscaping and a circulation berm. Officials envision a habitat similar to that of the Ballona Freshwater Lagoon, which is located roughly two miles south near Playa Vista.
Plans also call for the construction of new recreation and safety amenities around the perimeter of the basin, including a walking path, improved landscaping, educational signs and observation areas. The project will also include new safety features, such as improved fencing and lighting.
Past presentations from LACDPW have estimated that construction of the Oxford Basin Enhancement project will be completed over approximately one year.
The improved basin could prove to be a much needed amenity for the surrounding community, where a number of residential and commercial developments are either planned or currently under construction.