the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust

The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust, founded in 1994, is a non-profit community organization dedicated to the acquisition, restoration and preservation of the entire Ballona Wetlands ecosystem. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate the creation of a world-class wildlife refuge and public park. The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust has over 3,000 members and five directors on its board.

Our Accomplishments

Though many locals had fought for years to stave off development on Ballona, a number of them were willing to accept building on a large part of the land in exchange for restoration of a small part of the wetlands. The Land Trust held to higher expectations and led community-organizing efforts that helped facilitate:

  • the legislation transferring the 73-acre parcel known as Ballona Northeast into the public trust for permanent protection. Our community organizing resulted in over 6,000 hand-written letters sent to Senator Bowen – the most she had received on any issue during her time in office
  • the public acquisition of 600 acres of the Ballona Wetlands ecosystem (west of Lincoln Blvd. and north of Ballona Creek)
  • the continued interim restoration of the 600 acres of the Ballona Ecological Reserve
  • the litigation against the city of Los Angeles challenging Playa Vista 2’s original Environmental Impact Report. In 2007 the Land Trust and its allies won in the court, which found that Playa Vista’s EIR for the proposed development was deficient in its analysis of environmental impacts related to land use, archaeological resources, methane, waste water, and water supply. All construction of Phase 2 was forced to stop.

Our Strategy

  1. Educate the community about the impacts of the proposed Playa Vista development project and the value of coastal wetlands ecosystems and of open space.
  2. Educate the public on the importance of a Natural Treatment Wetland at Ballona Southeast (East of Lincoln and South of Jefferson) which is currently privately owned and threatened with development.
  3. Organize the community in speaking out to our elected officials and the media.
  4. Raise the capital necessary to facilitate the acquisition of Ballona Southeast from the Development Company in order to preserve and protect it for future generations. We are working to identify and secure city, state and federal funds.
  5. Ensure that existing laws are followed by both the Development Company and our elected officials and work to foster and protect laws that protect the environment.

Current Action

  • The Ballona Wetland Land Trust received a grant to print and distribute 5,000 of our popular bilingual booklets of common birds to elementary school children in the Los Angeles area to help promote the value of local wildlife.
  • Playa Vista 2 was passed by the L.A. City Council in March 2010. However, we are not giving up the fight. Please check back soon for more information!
  • We want to ensure transparency in the restoration process of the Ballona wetlands.
    • There is a proposal for a parking structure to be built in the wetlands. Check back for updates and information in the coming weeks.
    • There will be an impact due to the reconfiguration of the Ballona levees.