Jamie Paige

Special to the Daily Press

The Los Angeles City Council voted last week to fund rehabilitation for the ecological area surrounding the Freshwater Marsh and the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey. 

The motion was coordinated by the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands and councilmember Mike Bonin.

The funds include a transfer of $133,200 of the Council District 11 portion of the Street Furniture Revenue to the Board of Public Works Funds.  

 The Ballona Wetlands once encompassed more than 2,000 acres, stretching from Playa del Rey to Venice and inland to the Baldwin Hills. Now, only about 600 acres of open space remain, and much of that area is highly degraded after centuries of development and abuse, according to The Bay Foundation.

Although “No Stopping” and “No Dumping” signs line Jefferson Boulevard, the City of Los Angeles has permitted an extensive RV encampment to flourish over the last 18 months despite providing them with no services, sanitation or security. “We are witnessing Ballona’s destruction on a daily basis,” CD11 Candidate Traci Park told voters this summer. 

The RVs started lining up there when police were prevented from issuing tickets or towing vehicles parked overnight alongside the marsh by public health orders. Last week an early morning parking task force in the vicinity of Ballona Creek resulted in ten unoccupied vehicles being towed and 30 citations handed out.

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