Stretching from Playa del Rey to Venice, the Ballona Wetlands once occupied a 2,000-acre expanse of critical coastal habitat. Currently covering an area of 600 acres, the Ballona Wetlands are the largest and most promising opportunity for coastal wetland restoration in Los Angeles County.
The Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project is a long-term, science-based plan to return the Ballona Wetlands into a thriving ecological reserve. By healing this highly degraded site, the restoration project will create a diverse, resilient and dynamic ecosystem while providing a unique opportunity for the community to reconnect with southern California’s natural heritage.
Why Restore Ballona Wetlands?
More than a century of human neglect and abuse have left the Ballona Wetlands in a highly degraded state. Dredge spoils were dumped into the wetlands during the construction of Marina del Rey and the Ballona Creek Flood Control Channel, effectively separating the creek from its floodplain. The loss of the historic connections between the wetlands, its natural freshwater sources and the ocean has resulted in the loss of many of its ecological functions and many native species can no longer live at the wetlands because of the degraded habitat.
Restoring the natural structure and function of the Ballona Wetlands will give native species a chance to recover and thrive. The Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project will return the daily ebb and flow of tidal waters, maintain freshwater circulation and support a more natural and healthy ecosystem. Creating these suitable habitats and natural conditions will allow wetland vegetation to flourish and attract the insects, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, birds and mammals that call wetlands home. This revitalization will also provide the community with a valuable educational resource and an opportunity to create meaningful connections with the natural environment.