Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project

Update 6/17/2022

 

On April 1, 2022 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for consultants to complete designs and acquire permits for the initial two sequences of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project. These two sequences involve removing and relocating an existing gas line and restoring and enhancing an approximately 60-acre degraded tidal, brackish, and freshwater wetland.   Sequences 1 & 2 include wetland enhancements in South Area B and Southeast Area B as described for Alternative 1, Phase 1, in the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Environmental Impact Report and Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Preliminary Design Report. The link to the full RFQ can be found here: Request for Qualifications (RFQ).

 

These initial improvements will benefit endangered species. They will functionally lift and expand approximately 60 acres of habitat for the Belding’s savannah sparrow and improve and expand freshwater and brackish habitat for least Bell’s vireo and potentially light-footed Ridgway’s rail.

With minimal ground disturbance and a focus on improving hydrology, these initial sequences will increase tidal circulation and freshwater inputs (receiving flows from the Ballona Freshwater Marsh) to an area of the ecological reserve that has been hydrologically starved from its water source for many decades and, subsequently, where steady habitat decline is documented.

 

DFW’s RFQ is consistent with the Conservancy’s May 27, 2021 approval, which authorized “design and permitting for the restoration of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.”  The staff recommendation states, “This funding will enable CDFW to hire consultants to complete technical work necessary to advance the restoration design, the engineering design, and the design of public access amenities for the proposed project. The funding will also support technical studies needed for permit applications.”  The link to the staff recommendation can be found here: https://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/pdf/sccbb/2021/2105/20210527Board05_Ballona_Wetlands.pdf.

DFW continues to work on advancing all sequences of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project as they move forward on design and permitting for Sequences 1 & 2.

 

 

 

 

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