Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project More Destruction Than Restoration

The Ballona Wetlands west of Lincoln Boulevard have had a long, hard time of it, and depending on the decisions that get made soon, it could get a lot better, or immeasurably worse.

Patricia McPherson of the Sierra Club forwarded a piece from the Southern Sierran News that focuses on why the Airport Marina Chapter of the Sierra Club is targeting the Environmental Impact Report on the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project, and why is isn’t a restoration at all.

The post by Richard Harmel begins “The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is betraying the public trust. The newly released Final Environmental Impact Report (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” by:

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.

This is anything but a “restoration”, 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. The CDFW has already lost in Court for having been complicit in the draining of Ballona Wetlands via illegal drains. CDFW continues to allow the freshwater rains to be diverted away from Ballona, out to sea.”

For the complete text, go to

The Sierra Club will meeting On Feb. 18, 2020 at Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey.

See for more details.

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo by Marcia Hanscom

The Actors' Gang

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