Saving the Ballona Wetlands

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Before development exploded in California, the state contained about 5 million acres of wetland habitat. Unfortunately, over the years California has been willing to part with 91 percent of its wetlands, Southern California having lost 95 percent. Los Angeles County has only one wetland remaining. This being the Ballona Wetlands located between Marina del Rey and the Westchester bluffs, it was once a major part of California’s natural wetland systems. Before development, Ballona wetlands natural habitat covered 2002 acres. This area, 800 to 1000 acres, referred to as Playa Vista by its owners is made up of salt marsh freshwater marsh and part upland and dune areas. It is considered Los Angeles’ largest ‘wetland ecosystem’. Although degraded over the years it still functions as a normal natural wetland - providing vital services. A major function it provides is that it filters out toxic wastes and pollutants from stormwater runoff before they reach the Santa Monica Bay. It is "a coastal plain, and acts as a flood plain for the surrounding area" (FOBW Information folder 1998: Fact Sheet). Ballona is an integral part of the Pacific flyaway, providing vital feeding and nesting habitat for over 185 species of birds, including some on the federal endangered species list. The southwestern willow flycatcher, an endangered species, was just recently seen by developers in an area cleared for construction. Ballona is no doubt a welcomed refuge to all species, both flora and fauna, from the industrial landscape of Los Angeles. The Friends of Ballona Wetlands have said it is "a spawning ground for commercial and sport fish, and a vital source of nutrients for the entire coastal marine environment" (FOBW Information folder 1998: 20 years of C...

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...na Wetlands." http://eco.bio.lmu.edu/www.ballona/fbw.htm. 22 Jan. 98.

Friends of Ballona Wetlands Information Folder. "Friends of Ballona Wetlands: 20 years of Commitment," "Fact Sheet," "Mission Statement: Friends of Ballona Wetlands" 1998.

Helgeson, Rubell. Commentary. "A Phony War to Save the Ballona Wetlands." Los Angeles Times 6 Dec. 1996: B10.

Lynch, Glen. Interview. The Ballona Free Press. [Westchester] May. 1997: 2.

Tagawa, Rick. "History of the Ballona Valley." The Ballona Free Press. [Westchester] Nov. 1997: 2.

Additional References not cited

Ballona Land Trust Mission Statement

http://www.life.net/wetlands/bmission.html

Effort To Protect Ballona Wetland Moves Forward

http://www.house.gov/harman/flapgate.htm

Protestors Target Spielberg, ‘Lost World’

http://www.channel2000.com/news/stories/news-970520-202436.html
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