The Sierra Club Airport-Marina Group will meet on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 7:00 pm at the Burton Chace Park Community Room 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. The controversial plan to restore Ballona by turning it into a saltwater wetland is under the critical eye of the Sierra Club, and the meeting will offer Patricia McPherson, Rex Frankel, and Walter Lamb speaking to the matter.
From the Sierra Club – The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is betraying the public trust. The newly released FEIR serves the interests of a group of private/fossil fuel/NGO entities who are intent upon the radical transformation of Ballona, violating both the protected status of the Ecological Reserve and the vested interests of the public.
The group characterizes the excavation of at least five million tons of habitat as a “restoration”: digging down/up/out to a depth of twenty-five to thirty feet; extending Santa Monica Bay inland by flooding Ballona and turning it into a full tidal saltwater bay; piling up miles of twenty-five foot dirt levees that will obstruct the public’s view of the wetlands; destroying traditional ecosystems rather than protecting and preserving the traditional seasonal freshwater Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve; bulldozing habitat that is the home of hundreds of species of wildlife, including endangered species; violating the seasonal, migratory patterns of thousands of birds, and; destroying indigenous sacred sites and cultural heritage.
Squandering hundreds of millions of dollars of public money for a ten-year engineering project that ignores the impacts of climate change on the last coastal seasonal freshwater wetlands in Los Angeles County, is anything but a “restoration.”
Please see the Sierra Club website of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Subcommittee of the Conservation Committee of the Angeles Chapter, with Marcia Hanscom as the chairperson of the subcommittee. No restoration is needed as the Ballona Wetlands ecosystem is intact and fully functioning ecologically. Recovery, however is needed of more animals and plants. For example, in 2003, I recovered the very first California native plant to the Ballona Wetlands, known as Cuscuta salina. I facilitated the recovery of the very first native animal to the Ballona Wetlands, namely the Tree Swallow, by placement of nest boxes alongside the Ballona Estuary. These swallows prey upon aquatic insects when they metamorphose into adults with wings, rising into the air, and then captured by the Tree Swallow. In addition, this bird is special to have been recovered as this species is neotropical migratory songbird. I also facilitated the recovery of the Rattlesnake and Coyote to the Ballona Wetlands, with passive recovery efforts. I played a key role in the recovery of an endangered animal to the sand dunes at the Ballona Wetlands, by bringing the eggs and larvae of a butterfly, known as the El Segundo Blue. Lastly, I monitor the populations of additional reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, and fish. I have discovered populations of sea stars and the California state Marine Fish, proving that further recovery has occurred in the last 17 years since the public ownership of the Ballona Wetland ‘State’ Ecological Reserve. Alternative 4, the gentle recovery option is needed, as written in the Environmental Impact Report of the state of California, even if not recommended by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, nor the California Fish and Game Commission, as our new Governor Gavin Newsom has not yet weighed in to direct this state agency and state commission to choose Alternative 4.