Preserving Our Seacoast Habitats
What is now called California’s 33rd district was once upon a time, and up until recnt years, a vibrant seabird and wetlands habitat. Areas we know as the Ballona Wetlands, Ballona Lagoon, Oxford Lagoon, Marina Marsh, Del Rey Lagoon, Great Blue Heron rookery at Mariners Village are all part of the historical Ballona Wetlands created by the confluence of the Los Angeles River and several other streams. Most of the natural habitat here has given way to modern development and the few open spaces left are frequently in peril from one moneyed interest or another.
Preserving nature is not just a matter of quality of life for the animals who live here, it is a matter of quality of life for people too.
Great Blue Heron Rookery at Mariners Village
The last remaining parts of the Great Blue Heron rookery which has flourished in the last two decades is at Mariner Village, a residential complex in Marina del Rey that is a nature sanctuary, not only including nesting trees for these majestic birds, but also more than 1,000 mature trees. The rookery, the trees and the historical charm of this residential complex is threatened with a new development. I support full protection of the herons and their trees, and I also support the designation of Mariners Village as a historic site, perhaps part of a historic district - a designation that the National Park Service can make.
Del Rey Lagoon & Egret Park
Most of Del Rey Lagoon, south of the Marina channel, is also owned by the City of Los Angeles, and Egret Park - a part of the lagoon - is threatened with development. As the Congress member for CD-33, I would work to secure Land & Water Conservation bond funding to acquire Egret Park and any other adjacent lands to Ballona that can add to the acreage supporting wildlife and open space on the Los Angeles coast.
Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve
I am opposed to any alteration of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve lands that would remove life-filled soils, bulldoze habitat for wildlife or use public funds to support such destruction of nature. Our connection with nature is fragmented, and Ballona can be an important place for citizens of our district to reconnect with nature, to better our relationship with the natural world that sustains and inspires us. Since several federal agencies are involved with the permitting and potential funding of this project, as an elected representative I would use my office to prevent such a detrimental project from proceeding and, instead, engage these agencies with the interested public to support a complete community-engaged process for protecting the wildlife, wetlands, grasslands, meadows and dunes of Ballona. I support the idea of making the Ballona Wetlands lands part of a National Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service
I am also opposed to the idea of a private foundation co-opting public land, or government's communications by owning and managing an internet website for the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This insertion of private interests on to public lands is unacceptable and something I will work to stop.
When elected, I will immediately introduce a study bill for the National Park Service to look at the possibilities for establishing a Los Angeles Coast National Recreation Area, which would have the Ballona Wetlands as a centerpiece and consider the possibility for other areas along the coast to be included. Such a designation would not only bring the strongest possible protection for wildlife and native plant populations, but it would also bring the possibility of federal funds for land protection in the coastal areas, as well as funding for eco-tourism related transportation, such as ferry service and other transportation options that could assist in clearing up some of our gridlock.