Stop the Bulldozers: Defend Ballona Wetlands’ Animals in Court

Stop the Bulldozers: Defend Ballona Wetlands’ Animals in Court

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to demolish Los Angeles’ last coastal wetlands through a massive, decade-long, bulldozing project. In Defense of Animals is part of a coalition defending Ballona’s wild animals in court. This roughly one square mile ecological reserve is home to 1,700 species of animals and plants, including endangered species, who have nowhere else to go. If this plan goes through, they’ll die. Now we need your support to win this crucial legal battle!

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." 
— Ansel Adams

Yet, this is the reality at the Ballona Wetlands on the Los Angeles coast…

In early 2023, there will be a court hearing on the current lawsuits challenging the legality and the questionable use of bond money to complete the bulldozing project at the wetlands. Urgent funds are needed to pay the lawyers who are fighting in court for these animals. Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell and New York Times bestselling author and UnchainedTV host Jane Velez-Mitchell are helping to raise money for legal fees. But they can’t do it alone!

Activist actor James Cromwell and UnchainedTV host Jane Velez-Mitchell have teamed up to raise funds to defend Ballona Wetlands.

In Defense of Animals has been a leader in efforts against the obliteration of Ballona’s habitat, urging public officials, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, to scrap this ill-conceived project. We have co-hosted in-person and online demonstrations, organized virtual town-hall meetings, spoken at neighborhood council meetings, testified at public hearings, and launched a pressure campaign to save the wetlands and the animals who reside there. 

Six lawsuits are moving forward against this controversial, irresponsible proposal to spend more than $250 million public dollars and nearly a decade bulldozing Los Angeles' last coastal wetlands, creating a traffic nightmare in the Westside community and hell on Earth for wild animals. 

Meet some of the animals who will lose their homes and their lives if bulldozers are permitted to destroy the Ballona Wetlands.

Despite increasing sea level rise projections and reports that California is overdue for a catastrophic mega-flood, this bulldozing plan would demolish the Ballona Creek levees and dig crater-sized holes at the edge of the Pacific Ocean! Even the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has declined to rubber stamp this proposal, which is riddled with miscalculations.

Threatened and Endangered Wild Animals Call Ballona Home

Gray foxes, burrowing owls, short-eared owls, snowy egrets, striped skunks, least terns, red-winged blackbirds, white-tailed kites, great blue herons, green herons, northern harriers, brown pelicans, monarch butterflies, and many other species call these wetlands home. Even endangered species like the least Bell’s vireo and Belding’s Savannah sparrow, rely on the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, as do migratory birds.

Great blue herons and other wild animals will have nowhere to go once bulldozing begins at Ballona Wetlands.

Environmental, Democratic, and Animal Protection Groups Oppose Bulldozing

Among dozens of organizations opposed to bulldozing Ballona are: In Defense of Animals, Sierra Club, Protect Playa Now, Ballona Institute, LA County Democratic Party, West LA Democratic Club, Americans for Democratic Action, Food and Water Watch, California Cultural Resource Preservation Alliance, Del Rey Residents Association, and Climate Reality Project.

The Secret Agenda: Helping the Fossil Fuel Industry

Critics make a strong argument that this bulldozing — deceptively mislabeled as a “restoration” — has a hidden agenda: to allow the fossil fuel industry to refurbish the crumbling methane gas storage operation that’s under and throughout the wetlands. The wetlands excavation would help them install new fossil fuel equipment when aging operations like the one at Ballona need to be closed as methane gas is replaced with 100% renewable energy.  

While the current plan at Ballona is highly unpopular, private interests are driving the government agencies to move forward with this phony “restoration” plan. Now, they’ve hatched a secret plan to fast-track permitting at the Coastal Commission and the Regional Water Board so they can start a portion of the project since they know federal agencies will not yet permit the entire project. This piecemeal approach to jump-starting an unwelcome project is a cynical way to work around the public interest.

Don’t let them get away with it! Support our campaign, along with Defend Ballona Wetlands, to stop the bulldozers!

Please sign our alert to oppose the fake “restoration” proposed for Ballona Wetlands and make a donation today to help pay the lawyers who are fighting in court for the animals who reside on the wetlands.

Be the first to wear our new T-shirt and share our vital message to protect the plants and animals of Ballona Wetlands!

Hurry! For a limited time, we’ll send you this beautiful Defend Ballona Wetlands shirt when you donate $50 or more*!

*Get your Defend Ballona Wetlands T-shirt by donating $50 or more today. Available to U.S. mainland residents for a limited time only.

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