A local public hearing by the state's Coastal Conservancy has been scheduled for this Thursday, January 19th at 1 PM at the Baldwin Hills Overlook park located on Jefferson Blvd for the request for $6.5 million to do engineering studies of yet another alternative plan for the "restoration" of the Ballona Wetlands, which was purchased by the state's taxpayers in 2003. This new plan has not been discussed at any public meeting before and only came across my desk thanks to the Google-Alerts system. It's almost like the backers of bulldozing Ballona don't want us to come to this hearing.
I say "restoration" because it involves massively bulldozing out much of the existing wetlands and upland wildflower/coastal sagebrush areas and replacement of it with whatever the L.A. Harbor department and others not from our area are dreaming about putting here. The L.A. Harbor department wants to massively dredge out the existing healthy and functioning habitats at Ballona to replace healthy habitats they want to destroy in San Pedro as part of harbor expansion plans. Rather than buy land to expand the Ballona preserve, they would simply "improve" Ballona and not save any more lands for wildlife habitat.
We advocate a slow, community-planned restoration of the Ballona Wetlands, not an industrial scale bulldozing operation that wastes million of dollars and only benefits massive engineering firms.
The L.A. Weekly did an excellent story in May 2011 on this subject:
And to read BEEP's views on the restoration proposals, on page 4 of the Fall 2011 newsletter:
PLEASE COME TO THIS HEARING AND DEMAND THAT ANY RESTORATION PLAN REFLECT WHAT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND EXISTING USERS OF OUR HIKING TRAILS WANT, NOT WHAT OUTSIDE WETLAND DESTROYERS WANT.
I have attached the staff report and the latest map. If they don't come through, they are at the following web-link:
Here is the agenda for the Coastal Conservancy Hearing:
Also, to see a chronology of the various evolving proposals by the State's managers since 2008, click here:
--Rex Frankel, director, Ballona Ecosystem Education Project (BEEP)
Finally, for those looking to know more, here are some background reports I recently posted that show the natural and historical value of the Ballona Wetlands as they are.
PHASE 1 DEIR STUDIES OF A-B-C-D, FROM 1991
COMPLETE DRAFT JOHN CLARK STUDY FROM MAY 1979, FOR A-B-C- AND WESTERN AREA D
EXCERPTS OF THE FINAL JOHN CLARK STUDY, JUNE 1979
SCHREIBER STUDY FROM 1981, PARCELS A-B-C, FROM 1981
A SUMMARY OF ALL THESE STUDIES: