Friday, September 21, 2018

Not O-Kay

Why is a Top Southern California Edison Wetlands Manager Spreading Baloney about the Ballona Wetlands?

Did you know that "4 million cubic yards of construction waste" was dumped all over the Ballona Wetlands in the 1950's, necessitating now a massive 9 year project to haul all that "waste" away?

You don't know it, in fact, because it did not happen.

"Marina Construction Waste" was NOT dumped on the Ballona Wetlands, as Mr. Kay claims in the 9/20/2018 Marina Del Rey Argonaut. 

Clean healthy wetland mud, full of life, was moved around in the late 1950's in order to dig a giant hole in the Ballona floodplain for a middle class boat harbor. Some of this clean mud was piled higher than it used to be and was cut off from the natural freshwater of Ballona Creek in some cases. But that is not construction waste as most of us understand it, meaning concrete, steel, plaster, wood and stucco chunks like we see in the many construction waste dumpsters that dot our community from development projects.

Don't fall for the "alternative facts" being spread by those in the wetland bulldozing industry like Mr Kay, a wetland "re-creation" manager for Southern California Edison Company which has been eyeing Ballona as a site for it to compensate for its power plants' harm to sea life by turning our home for frogs, lizards, rabbits, sagebrush and birds into an arm of the ocean (like the habitats Edison damages) .  (See excerpt BELOW from Ballona Wetlands/Playa Vista Development Coastal Commission Staff Report from 1991 detaining Edison's plans)

Some misguided State bureaucrats have since 2008 been pushing the now-debunked proposal to turn the freshwater delta of the Ballona wetlands into an unnatural deep hole flooded by saltwater. This has been contradicted by peer-reviewed science put together by scientists at USC and UCLA, titled the Ballona Historical Ecology Study. The debunked proposal has at its heart the goal of sucking up $200 million in tax dollars to use hundreds of bulldozers to convert the Ballona freshwater creek system into a below sea level arm of the ocean, killing most of the life that now lives at the wetlands. Greatly enriched would be insiders and construction firms that would excavate the wetlands over a 9 year period. This is completely unnecessary as the State is currently the co-operator of the Ballona wetlands freshwater marsh at Playa Vista, the first restoration project at the Ballona Wetlands created on 5% of the state-owned preserve in 2002, which is watered with groundwater pumped to the surface and piped to the east end of the Playa Vista "riparian corridor" creek system, which then flows under Lincoln Blvd into the "Freshwater Marsh at Playa Vista".

The City of Los Angeles is planning right now to build three Ballona Creek water cleansing plants which will make possible allowing Ballona Creek water to flow once again into the rest of the Ballona Wetlands. (The water in the creek now is quite dirty) These water treatment plants will be 50 feet higher in elevation than the slightly higher than normal wetland mud piles near Lincoln Blvd. Thus, with piping and creek flapgates of the type similar to that used at Playa Vista's creek and marsh system, we could restore the natural historically-accurate freshwater creek wildlife habitats at the rest of our State's Ballona Wetlands without the need to bulldoze it for 9 years and waste hundreds of millions of our tax dollars on a non-restoration industrial-scale enrichment program for construction firms disguised as a wildlife habitat re-creation. We have a choice here.: Unnaturally bulldoze and kill the Ballona Wetlands for 9 years to benefit Edison and construction firms and turn it into what it never was. Or return clean water to the wetlands now, restoring willow groves and sagebrush habitats for native wildlife that is now there, avoiding defiling 9 Tongva archeological sites, and saving hundreds of millions of our money.

Rex Frankel, Director, Ballona Ecosystem Education Project,


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