Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Big Public hearing on Ballona Wetlands "restoration"

NOW'S THE TIME TO SAY YOU WANT BALLONA PROTECTED, NOT RIPPED OUT AND TURNED INTO SOMETHING IT NEVER WAS

RESPOND TO THE MASSIVELY DESTRUCTIVE STATE PLAN FOR BALLONA

Scoping Meeting Date, Time, and Location:

A public scoping meeting to receive input on the scope of the DEIS/EIR will be conducted on Thursday August 16, 2012, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Fiji Gateway entrance to the Ballona Wetlands (13720 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, across from Fisherman's Village and Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors).

ON THURSDAY, SUPPORT SAVING OUR TRAILS, KEEPING POLLUTION OUT OF THE WETLANDS, AND "RESTORING" THAT SERVES ALL THE WILDLIFE THAT IS THERE NOW!  SUPPORT BEEP'S ALTERNATIVE VISION PLAN! (see picture at bottom of this page)


Comments may also be submitted until October 23rd, 2012 to DONNA.MCCORMICK@icfi.com.
Or mailed to:
Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project
C/O Donna McCormick
1 Ada, Suite 100
Irvine, CA  92816


THE STATE'S PROPOSAL INCLUDES: 

--Removal of most long-used public trails

--Removal of the Ballona Creek levees and the pouring of billions of gallons of polluted street drainage into the Ballona Wetlands

--Permanent discharge of fill (dirt) within 43.5 acres of non-wetland waters of the U.S. (435,000 cubic yards) and within 65 acres of wetland waters of the U.S. (600,000 cubic yards),

--Conversion of a balanced ecosystem featuring three rare and fragile wildlife habitats into nearly entirely an arm of the ocean filled with polluted urban street drainage


FOR FULL NOTICE AND DETAILS:


MY OPINION, (by Rex Frankel, director of the Ballona Ecosystem Education Project --BEEP):

There are miles of trails in these wetlands which the State wants to eliminate. They say the public will damage the land by walking on it, yet they want to unleash massive bulldozers which will do massively worse damage in the name of "restoration". Thus, the State has declared the entire area closed to the public. I believe this is because the state wants to keep the public from seeing what a thriving natural habitat it is, believing we then won't counter their scare stories that the place is a disaster and must all be ripped out and replaced with the bureaucracy's non-historically accurate vision.

NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE?
It's not a restoration because it won't be returned to what it was before man arrived here. The State plan takes it back not 200 years but 4000 years to when it was an arm of the ocean and home to only sea creatures--what scientists call a monoculture. But 4000 years ago it was clean, not filled with urban pollution. (See this video presentation by Dr. Travis Longcore of USC explaining how the history of Southern California wetlands contradicts the State's preferred vision for Ballona restoration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1viLaZaVhQY)
Now, just like 200 years ago when man arrived, Ballona is a biodiverse ecosystem and has three natural habitat types: salt marsh, freshwater marsh and wildflower and sage covered uplands. Under the State plan, two of those three natural habitats and their wildlife will be mostly eliminated.  So it's not a restoration to what it was when man arrived, but a return to a date that happens to coincide with their plan to to turn it into an all polluted urban street drainage dump, while now it is protected from L.A. 's pollution by the creek levees. Yes, the levees along the creek are not natural but serve an important natural purpose, which is to keep all the urban trash and grease and dog poop from flowing from the creek into the clean wetlands. Given that L.A. is here to stay, to rip out the levees with no plan to clean up the creek first is a recipe for disaster.

A POLLUTION DUMP?

Why does the State bureaucracy want to dump L.A.'s polluted urban street drainage into the Ballona Wetlands? Because they are under a court order to comply with a federal law that requires the massive L.A. urban region to stop allowing its storm drain system from funneling urban pollution to our ocean and beaches. But rather than planning and creating their long-promised upstream treatment system (see posts on this here:  http://ballona-news.blogspot.com/search/label/Restoring%20and%20Unpaving%20Local%20Open%20Spaces%20to%20Clean%20Up%20Santa%20Monica%20Bay%20Beaches
), the Ballona Wetlands, which lie between L.A. and the ocean,  have instead been chosen to be sacrificed as a massive pollution filtration system.

The State's plan is, to put it bluntly, just crazy! We need a plan that protects the three existing wildlife habitats and our trails AND allows some re-wetting of appropriate portions of the wetlands, and brings in clean water from the ocean--like it was 200 years ago. Every time we suggest this to the squadron of state bureaucrats, they say sorry, we've made up our minds. Well the public is speaking out and we want a new plan!

ON THURSDAY, SUPPORT SAVING OUR TRAILS, KEEPING POLLUTION OUT OF THE WETLANDS, AND "RESTORING" THAT SERVES ALL THE WILDLIFE THAT IS THERE NOW!

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WE HAVE THREE CHOICES FOR THE BALLONA WETLANDS:

LEAVE IT LIKE IT IS TODAY.

DO THE MASSIVE STATE BULLDOZING PLAN.

OR FIND SOMETHING IN BETWEEN THOSE TWO.


BELOW--BALLONA WETLANDS TODAY--ok, it's drier than it was 200 years ago due to road construction which blocked the ocean from getting to it and it has problems with trash dumping and non-native weeds. But it has huge areas of clean natural wildlife habitat that with a sensitive and non-destructive plan could be easily restored to its pre-urban L.A. glory days.



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BELOW--BALLONA WETLANDS UNDER THE PREFERRED STATE PLAN
The levees that now keep trash, grease and dog doo out of the wetlands would be removed and all this will flow straight into our fragile wetlands.


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OR BELOW--A VISION WE SUPPORT THAT IS MORE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE, KEEPS POLLUTION OUT OF THE WETLANDS AND PROTECTS OUR TRAILS

BEEP'S ALTERNATIVE BALLONA PLAN


CLICK ON ABOVE IMAGE FOR HI-RESOLUTION VERSION


1 comment:

Lesa said...

I'll try to attend the public mtg., but can't fully promise it. Hoping like hell the decision-makers understand & appreciate what little remains of this invaluable "natural" space. Best of luck, Rex & everyone who cares about Ballona.