Wilmington’s Lake Machado to be rehabilitated

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Lake Machado in the Los Angeles Harbor community of Wilmington is best known as the murky former haunt of Reggie, the abandoned alligator who won international fame after officials ran up a $200,000 bill pursuing him.

Reggie was finally snagged in 2007 with a dog-catcher’s pole. But problems at the weedy 31-acre lake, which is sustained by urban runoff from a concrete flood-control channel, were far from over.


Tonight, the city of Los Angeles departments of Public Works and Recreation and Parks are inviting the public to participate in a community workshop designed to set the stage for the $90-million Machado Lake Ecosystem Rehabilitation Project.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Senior Citizen Center, 1371 Eubank Ave.

‘Machado Lake and the Wilmington Drain are impaired bodies of water,’ said Michelle Vargas, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works. ‘But they have great potential for wildlife habitat and recreation.’

‘At this preliminary stage of the process,’ she added, ‘we are seeking public input on how they want this project to look.’

Tentative plans include improving flow of storm runoff in the channel and installing a net to prevent debris from entering the lake.

For more information, contact Becky Wood at (213) 590-0117 or

— Louis Sahagun