TOUR: Ballona Wetlands
Today, more than 95% of Southern Californiaâs wetlands have been lost due to human development â the largest loss of any region in the nation.
The Ballona Wetlands were once a 2,000-acre expanse of marshes, mud flats, salt pans, and sand dunes that stretched from Playa del Rey to Venice and inland to the Baldwin Hills. What is now Playa Vista and Silicon Beach, used to be part of that expanse. Today, only approximately 600 acres of open space remain of the former wetlands. The land is owned by the State of California and comprises the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
The Reserve today looks very different from its past. A once-meandering Ballona CreekâL.A.âs â2nd riverâwas cemented into a straight, concrete channel nearly 100 years ago. Most of the wetlands â once home to abundant fish and waterfowl â were filled in to build Marina del Rey in the 1960s. Invasive plants, or weeds, have taken over much of the Reserve, crowding out native plants and providing little sustenance for local wildlife. People used to come here to fish, hunt, swim and hike; now, the Reserve is off-limits to the general public.
After many years of planning, public discussions, and scientific monitoring for multiple published scientific studies (by The Bay Foundation) on wildlife and plantlife, as well as looking at the historical ecology of the region, the much-anticipated draft EIR is due to be released in the near future. Restoration would address future flood control issues endangering local communities, address the Federally recognized issue of Total Maximum Daily Loads, would offer a refuge for birds and nursery for young fishes, and offer public access for the whole L.A. region and tourists, among other things.
Recommended viewing prior/after: http://ballonarestoration.org/
Tom is Executive Director of The Bay Foundation, and part-time faculty at the Fred Seaver College of Science and Engineering at LMU. With TBFâs mission to restore and enhance Santa Monica Bay through actions and partnerships, and using innovative solutions, Tom is personally focused on nearshore reefs and beaches as the natural front lines of coastal protection and resiliency for L.A. Tom serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Marine Institute, Joint Strategic Advisory Committee of the Southern-Central and Northern California Coastal Ocean Observing System, Association of National Estuary Programs, as well as the City of Santa Monica Clean Beaches Clean Ocean Committee. He has dedicated 1000s of hours to understanding and correcting sources of pollution in Los Angeles (read The Planning Report), influencing national and international policies and practices that benefit the environment and public health.
About Santa Monica Bay: Two million people and more than 5,000 species of animals, fish, birds and plants make their home in the 266 sq. miles of bay and its 400 sq. miles of watershed, running from Palos Verdes to Ventura County Line and inland to the ridge of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Meet at Overview: Google address:
7596 W. Shore Cliff Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90045
* Parking is Limited: CARPOOLING or CAR SERVICE is encouraged *
Contact Julie@dubroworks.com with questions.
DIRECTIONS: Turn from Lincoln/PCH onto S. Bluff Trail Rd. (across from LMU main entrance), turn right onto W. Coastal View Dr., and left onto W. Shore Cliff Dr.
Meeting at the end of the cul-de-sac.
* RSVP REQUIRED â 30 ATTENDEES MAXIMUM *