Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Bureaucrats Want to Speed Up Sea Level Rise's Harm to the Ballona Wetlands: 
Why the "un-natural" levees along the creek are actually good for the Wetlands

"California's Salt marshes will vanish in less than a century if seas keep rising..., study finds"…/la-me-salt-marsh-climate-change-20…

Dear Editor, LA Times

LA's 600 acre State-owned Ballona Wetlands currently sit safely protected behind the levees of Ballona Creek. Un-natural as they are, the levees keep the rising sea from drowning out the homes for thousands of rare animals. Our State's engineers say the levees are adequate to continue protecting the wetlands at least until the year 2100. The levees also keep polluted upstream urban drainage in the creek from pouring into the fragile homes for wildlife.

So why is the California State Wildlife department pursuing an alleged "restoration" plan, which they admit is mostly not a restoration at all, to demolish these already-paid-for wetland protectors and submerge Ballona under the sea? Why do they want to spend $182 million or more to bulldoze Ballona and scrape it bare for years? Ballona is a fragile and biodiverse ecosystem that is now and was historically full of wildflowers, butterfly habitat, lizard-hideaways, freshwater ponds and muddy salt marshes. Why do state bureaucrats want to turn Ballona into exclusively an arm of the ocean, a biological mono-culture which your article and the new study warn against?

Construction and engineering firms may benefit from this boondoggle. Not the public. Alternative proposals that would actually restore the wetlands and preserve its biodiversity at a fraction of the cost were summarily rejected by the state bureaucracy. Google the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Plan and read about the rejected Alternatives 10 and 11. There is still time to change the bureaucrats' minds.

Even the loudest two supporters of the state's bulldozing plan have rejected the bureaucrats' plans for the wetlands south of Ballona Creek. And the Coastal Commission, which is one of two state agencies that must approve any plan for it to happen, is similarly skeptical. So, behind the scenes, the state plan has big problems.

Rex Frankel
President and Legal Director
Ballona Ecosystem Education Project

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