Myth or Fact: Ballona Wetlands is an Environmental Issue

The amount of trash left by illegally parked vehicles by the Ballona Wetlands is overwhelming.

One of my son’s favorite television shows growing up was Mythbusters. Each episode focused on popular beliefs, Internet rumors or other myths. The cast would examine each myth and then either confirm or debunk it.

Circling the News is now offering its own series “Fact or B.S.” and in each installment we see if the claim is true or false.

The third installment of the B.S. series is:  Ballona Wetland is an Environmental Issue. True or False? Fact or B.S.?

Millions of birds fly along a 7,500-mile migratory route between northern Alaska and the southern tip of South America. Wetlands, including the freshwater Ballona Ecological Reserve in Playa Vista, provide vital resting points during the journey.

Migrating birds have encountered a wetlands degraded by homeless encampments and people living in RVs along Jefferson Avenue.

In several news stories it was reported that those dwellers were defecating, urinating, dumping septic tanks and disposing of hypodermic needles.

Additionally, there were stolen vehicles, bike chop shops and a meth lab. There have been at least three reported fires and crime has jumped 266 percent.

The fires destroyed sensitive habitats. Illegal campers are fishing in the marsh, altering the ecological cycle. Hundreds of mature plants and trees have been cut down by interlopers. Birds being chased by off-leash dogs –and other wildlife shot at with pellet guns. In addition, massive piles of trash have served as unhealthy forging sources for wildlife, harming not just the adult birds, but also their young.

City, County and State officials have been contacted repeatedly by concerned residents.

Councilman Mike Bonin’s website states: “An ardent environmentalist, Mike considers the climate crisis to be a threat to our families and to the neighborhoods he represents. He led the charge for LADWP to create a roadmap to 100% clean energy by 2035, and successfully pushed to get the City of Los Angeles to commit to shutting down gas-fired power plants near the coast . . . . and has overseen completion of Prop O water quality projects in his district.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched “L.A.’s Green New Deal in 2019 to set aggressive goals for the City to address the climate emergency, strengthen our economy and middle class, and place L.A. on course to be carbon neutral by 2050.” He also stated he wants the city to lead by example.

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s website notes: I know that climate change is real, and I will continue to fight against fracking and off-shore drilling. I have supported legislation that increases investments in our natural ecosystem and places California on track to 100% renewable energy by 2045.

State Senator Ben Allen chairs the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee and authored the plastic waste law. He oversees the state’s aggressive climate goals, and  he recently led a successful effort to phase out a dangerous carcinogen in firefighting foam and equipment, and brokered compromise that lessened the environmental impact of off-highway vehicle use at state facilities.

Since every official contacted claims to be an environmental warrior, but is doing nothing to help the wetlands, it seems this is not an environmental issue.

Restoring the Ballona Wetlands is an environmental issue and the claim B.S.

Residents are trying to save the Ballona Wetlands for birds like the pied-billed Grebe chicks, which are swimming through pollution left by illegal campers.
Photo: Lynzie Flynn

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One Response to Myth or Fact: Ballona Wetlands is an Environmental Issue

  1. Oh, thank you for the article! Hardly a pleasure to read, but oh well –

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