MARINA DEL REY 一On Jan. 28 Defend Ballona Wetlands filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to stop the restoration project in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and challenge the environmental impact report. The proposed project is set to restore and revitalize 640 acres across the wetlands and create 10 miles of bike and footpaths.
The lawsuit alleges the report claims the wetlands are in disrepair when they are actually in a healthy and thriving condition and are relied on by at least seven endangered species. Defend Ballona Wetlands alleges misuse of funds by the State Coastal Conservancy. Other allegations from the lawsuit infer fraud and misrepresentation of the project.
“[T]he project is misnamed as a restoration project.” said the Los Angeles Audubon Society in a draft response to the EIR. “As discussed by the attached report of Land Protection Partners, the project is not restoration but rather the removal of currently existing wetlands and replacement with a non-naturally occurring wetland. Therefore, the project description is misleading.”
Other specialists are quoted in the lawsuit voicing concerns over the project and the potential detriment it presented to the future of the wetlands.