Ballona Wetlands Restoration

This plan will restore the coastal ecosystem and enhance existing habitats within the 600-acre Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, a complex mosaic of habitats degraded by floodplain alteration and filling.

Why does this project matter?

Despite changes caused by oil extraction and dredge spoils from marina construction, the wetlands continue to provide habitat for threatened and endangered species while providing scenic open space in the heart of Los Angeles County. Intentional, full restoration of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve will provide additional habitat and allow the system and all its habitants to thrive.

What is ESA doing to help?

ESA was retained in 2005 to develop alternatives and a restoration plan for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, including the Ballona Wetlands and Ballona Creek flood control channel in Los Angeles near Playa del Rey.

ESA worked in conjunction with the California State Coastal Conservancy, a science advisory committee, and a diverse group of regulatory and public stakeholders to define restoration goals and develop five alternatives that will enable the system and its inhabitants to thrive. This includes developing the restoration engineering design and conducting detailed hydrology analyses, including 1D and 2D hydraulic and hydrodynamic modeling.

ESA further developed the preferred alternative to balance habitat restoration potential with infrastructure constraints, constructability, and consideration of future sea-level rise. The ESA team is currently preparing the final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement as well as pursuing a 408 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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