Ballona Wetlands “Restoration” is Animal Killing Scam for Profit-Seeking Corporations

Ballona Wetlands “Restoration” is Animal Killing Scam for Profit-Seeking Corporations

While In Defense of Animals has been active in the community coalition on the coast of Los Angeles aiming to stop an industrial alteration project at the Ballona Wetlands, those who would profit from this boondoggle have been scheming to find a way to work around the legal morass they find themselves in.  

At least six lawsuits have been filed to stop the project that is increasingly becoming known as a “restoration scam.” The nine-year bulldozing project, if allowed to proceed, would destroy hundreds of acres of rare California coastal habitats that members of numerous imperiled and even endangered species of birds, small mammals, and butterflies rely on.

We’ve learned through obtaining public records that our local government agencies such as the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and the California State Coastal Conservancy along with the corporation SoCalGas have convened secret meetings where they have asked other agencies for advice as to how they could fast-track permits (doing an end-run around the lawsuits.) These agencies seek permits from the California Coastal Commission, the Regional Water Board, and others that would allow bulldozers and drilling rigs to roll in and punch holes in the Ballona Creek levees, allowing salty seawater in, and begin the destruction of habitat that is in a fragile equilibrium.

We’ve also recently learned that SoCalGas, which had five executives present at one secret meeting in July, intends to use the dangerous methane gas storage facility that sits below, in, and around the Ballona Wetlands as an experimental area to blend methane with hydrogen, having persuaded some at the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power that this would be a “green” energy project that would power up their Scattergood electricity plant down the road.   

The area the “restoration” scammers have their sights on is an important, fragile, and functioning ecosystem – filled with nontidal pickleweed habitat attracting white-faced Ibis, short-eared owls, and numerous ducks each winter; a monarch butterfly grove where owls and hawks are born each year; and a yerba mansa meadow that is filled with frog songs when it rains.

Lawyers are watching closely to determine if an emergency court action will be required. On Thursday, December 15, 2022, we urged decision-makers to stop the massive wildlife destruction that this deceptive project would allow during the California Coastal Commission meeting.

Please make calls and 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 in the wetlands.

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