The California Coastal Commission approved two permits at a December 15, 2022 meeting, allowing early work to proceed on the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project.
The Coastal Commission authorized the non-profit Friends of Ballona Wetlands to continue a 40-year effort to take out invasive vegetation not native to the area from Ballona Dunes, replacing those plants with native flora, which in turn supports endangered species.
The endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly has returned to the Ballona Dunes because of the Friends’ longstanding work replacing invasive plants with the native buckwheat the Blue Butterfly depends upon. The native buckwheat had been overwhelmed by aggressive species such as brome grass, black mustard, Italian rye grass, rabbit’s foot grass and ice-plant.
The restoration permit, co-owned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), authorizes Friends to remove dozens of non-native bushes and trees in the southern Ballona Wetlands and plant native species in their place. Tree stumps will be left in place to minimize impacts of the tree removals, which will occur only outside of bird nesting season, typically October-February.
The Coastal Commission hearing video recording may be viewed at https://cal-span.org/meeting/
A female endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly deposits her eggs on a coastal buckwheat flower. Photo by Patrick Tyrrell.