This project will restore, enhance, and establish native coastal wetland and upland habitats on approximately 566 acres within the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, a complex mosaic of habitats degraded by floodplain alteration and filling.
Despite changes caused by dredge spoils from marina construction and other development activities, the wetlands continue to provide habitat for threatened and endangered species while providing scenic open space and opportunities for recreation 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.
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 alternatives that would enable the system and its inhabitants to thrive. This included 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 prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) and a Final EIR. A Final EIS will follow. ESA is continuing to support CDFW with project design refinements as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting process.