The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) watershed & hydrology analysis of Ballona Wetlands was stopped, precluding inclusion of Ballona's fresh groundwaters and seasonal surface water as part of any restoration option. Thus, the US Army Corps of Engineers' directive, that included "all reasonable alternatives", was also stopped.
Because a reasonable study was stopped by Shelley Luce, without consent of the Corps' local sponsor, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission in 2012, the current Environmental Review only allows choices that will destroy all of Ballona's habitat, and its underlying freshwater aquifers to EXPERIMENTALLY CREATE saltwater embayments allowing saltwater intrusion, through massive, industrial scale bulldozing and digging out of Ballona (THE BALLONA BIG DIG)
Below find a letter from our President, Patricia McPherson, to the California State Waterboard.
In the letter are excerpts from this 34 page PDF titled, "Lower Ballona Creek Watershed Ecosystem Restoration Los Angeles County, California 905(b) Reconnaissance Report", authored by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District on September 2002. FinalHQ_LowerBallonaCreek.pdf (1.1 meg)
Grassroots Coalition provides the following document for inclusion in CALEPA Complaints 25061 & 23608.
GC brings this document to your attention. USACE was to perform watershed evaluations which would include hydrology analysis of the areas within this area of study. Both the saltwater and freshwater aspects of Ballona were to be illuminated and inculcated into restoration options. Ultimately, a Joint EIR/S beginning in 2005 occurred that was terminated in 2012.
No hydrology studies were performed. Playa Vista, which is highlighted in the descriptions of areas and transfers of property was an integral part of the study area. However, no examination of Playa Vista hydrology and its pumping and diversion of that historic water flow(s) and its draining away of rainwater was ever explored. Instead, this
whole ‘iterative’ process the USACE had entered and that needed further congressional reporting and approvals, was ended without congressional approval and without its non-federal sponsor’s approval.
Instead, a private nonprofit, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation’s Director, without any state authority, single handedly told the USACE to stop the process. Without checking credentials for such authority to end any studies—the USACE dropped the study(ies).
While the process problems noted above exist, the need for understanding the hydrology aspects of Ballona Wetlands/Playa Vista persist, in particular Ballona's freshwater aspects remain vitally important and Playa Vista’s pumping and dewatering of Ballona waters needs to be thoroughly examined. The freshwaters of Ballona need to be returned and restored to Ballona.
Example below of USACE acknowledgement of freshwater sources for Ballona.
The above is just one reference to Ballona’s historic freshwaters. The Poland et al report (1948-9); the Playa Vista 1990 EIR; subsequent studies by Travis Longcore PhD et al paid for with Ballona restoration bond funds….all demonstrate the vast freshwater component of Ballona’s freshwater sources.
Thank you for your assistance in review and investigation of these matters,
Patricia McPherson, Grassroots Coalition