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Stop the Draining of Birds’ Wetland Home

Stop the Draining of Birds’ Wetland Home

Drought-ridden areas throughout Southern California have finally received long-awaited rainwater, yet developers and state decision-makers are draining one of the region's most unique and diverse ecosystems. We can’t allow them to dry up the protected Ballona Wetlands, which is home to members of so many endangered species!

Ballona Wetlands is one of the few remaining seasonal freshwater wetlands on the California coastline. The rainwater that overflows into the wetlands allows the grasses to grow and become forage and nesting habitat for many birds. Without fresh water, the survival of the entire Ballona ecosystem - including members of seven endangered species - is in jeopardy.

Thanks to the assistance provided by your calls and letters, local activists successfully stopped the use of illegal drains that had been installed to drain rainwater from inside the Ballona Wetlands. Your assistance has helped to reframe the discussion about Ballona as a unique seasonal freshwater wetland to ensure that a freshwater restoration may occur. The state’s plan to bulldoze the wetlands and let in the saltwater from the ocean would kill an untold number of animals in the process.

After capping illegal drains inside the protected wetlands, local activists are now urging the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to address another ill-advised effort – dumping rainfall into the ocean through drains in the overflow area instead of allowing rainwater to pool in the overflow area where it would nourish the ecosystem. Even the California Coastal Commission (CCC) advises against this wasteful plan. “We think that draining a wetland is about the most amazing violation that you could have… putting a drain in a wetland is exactly the opposite of anything that you’d do in a wetland…” said Lisa Haage, Chief of California Coastal Commission Enforcement during a meeting in December 2017.

The CDFW and Playa Vista developers are literally draining these wetlands to replace the fresh water with salt water; a short-sighted move that would kill all of the freshwater inhabitants. Turning freshwater wetlands into a saltwater lagoon harmed the Bolsa Chica Wetlands further south. We can’t let this happen to the Ballona Wetlands!

What YOU Can Do:

In solidarity with environmental and animal activists, please send our letter, by filling out the form on this page, to the agencies who have the authority to stop the wasteful draining of fresh water from Ballona Wetlands into the Pacific Ocean.

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