South Shore Lagoon System

Last updated 3/13/17

In the 1950’s, the Utah Corporation constructed five connected lagoons along the southwest shoreline of Alameda, between the original coast and the new South Shore Development.

The South Shore Lagoon system brings in salt-water from the San Francisco Bay and supports wildlife as diverse as egrets, cranes, night herons, blue herons, terns, coots, cormorants, many varieties of ducks (resident and migratory) and visiting geese.


Although the lagoons are privately owned and can be used for recreational uses by the adjacent property owners and members of the Alameda West Lagoon Homeowners' Association (AWLHOA), the lagoon system also is a storm drainage retention and treatment pond for portions of Alameda Island and provides aesthetic value that benefits to the City of Alameda.


Map of South Shore Lagoon System in Alameda


The South Shore Lagoon system is divided into segments

▪Lagoon 1: Westline to Grand
▪Lagoon 2: Grand to Willow
▪Lagoon 3: Willow to Park
▪Lagoon 4: Park to Broadway
▪Lagoon 5: Broadway to Court


Lagoon Maintenance

In 1964, the AWLHOA and the City entered into an agreement to share the cost of the maintenance of the lagoon system. The lagoons are drained once a year to allow for annual maintenance work to be performed. This lowering is typically done in the spring, although the specifics of each year’s schedule are discussed with and ultimately approved by the AWLHOA. 

The approved schedule for 2017 is as follows:

•April 27 start lowering lagoons
•May 27 start refilling lagoons


If debris and plant matter are collected during this maintenance period, please place the material in sturdy garbage bags and place at curbside.  Public Works provides weekly curbside pickup.


JULY 20, 2017 ALERT: Lagoons 3,4, and 5 are experiencing increased grass, algae and odor.  While treatments were applied and had some effect, the situation is not yet resolved.  To address the matter, on Monday, July 24, 2017, Lagoons 3,4, and 5 will be lowered starting at low tide (7 AM).  The lagoons will be filled the same day.  If moving the water proves effective in addressing the problem, a second lowering and raising will take place on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.  


Public Works also manages the lagoon levels, particularly during the wet season and in coordination with the tides, and maintains the equipment and infrastructure associated with this.  We also routinely remove debris from the lagoons and respond to maintenance requests. 


Water quality of the lagoons is routinely monitored through use of indicator bacteria.  Test results can be viewed on the Alameda West Lagoon Homeowners Association website:


To submit a comment, question or service request on any of the lagoons within this system, please do so here:


Lagoon maintenance