Ballona Watershed: Playa Vista Drainage Devices in Ballona Wetlands / De-Watering / California Coastal Commission Letter

For several years the Ballona Wetlands have appeared remarkably dry, even in the rainy season. Ballona volunteers have been perplexed. We asked Why? A Public Request Act (PRA) may have supplied the answer!

An email to Grassroots Coalition's President Patricia McPherson from Jimmy Chang, California Coastal Commission including two attachments: the California Coastal Commission (CCC) Compliance Letter to Playa Vista Development and the Los Angeles City drawings of the Drainage Devices.

From: "Chang, Jimmy@Coastal" <>
Subject: Public Record Compliance
Date: July 3, 2013 10:33:25 AM PDT


Dear Patricia McPherson,

Please find attached the letter you referenced, which we have decided to release to you in the spirit of consideration. I apologize that the first email did not get to you.  My supervisor specifically instructed me 2 weeks ago that you were to receive this letter by Thursday 6/27. Have a great Fourth of July weekend.

Jimmy Chang
Enforcement Analyst Intern
California Coastal Commmission
200 Oceangate, 10th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: (562) 590-5071

Attachments from above letter (email):

CCC Playa Vista Compliance Letter 6.12.13-2.pdf

Ballona Wetlands Development Diagram.pdf-1-1.pdf


Grassroots Press Release  July 10, 2013 11:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time

Grassroots Coalition Announces -- Illegal Water Drainage Devices Discovered in Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve | Business Wire.pdf


Photographs Before De-Watering

1995 View of Ballona Wetlands facing East  (Photo credit: Rob Kinslow)

View of Ballona Wetlands facing West



Photo of Drainage Device that Grassroots Coalition sent to the California Coastal Commission


Photo of Drainage Device taken June 14, 2013. Note size compared to an adult foot. Notice how dry and cracked at the surface while water in the pipe is being drained away.


Historical Background

Recent Press Coverage Summer 2013 on Playa Vista Drainage Device
Backstory 2003 Video  Playa Vista built on Wetlands. See the site being drained, bulldozed, and filled.
1) Grassroots Coalition believes that Playa Vista fails to adhere to Best Management Practices. Playa Vista/Ballona's ground waters are being dewatered for both the gas intake systems and for historical Howard Hughes contamination mitigation. Ground waters are thrown away into the sanitary sewer.
2) Newly discovered drainage devices shown above throw the water into the Ballona Channel.

Backstory 2013 Presentations to California Coastal Commission.


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