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The US Army Corps of Engineers is in the midst of permitting a proposed excavation of 2 million cubic yards of fragile wetland soils, destruction of the Ballona Wetlands on the Los Angeles coast - a mosaic of numerous wetland, grassland and other upland habitats. They call it a "restoration," but scientists who've studied the region say it is not. We believe that restoration must be only undertaken with the Precautionary Principle of "First Do No Harm" guiding any alterations.
More than 90% of California's wetlands have been destroyed. The type of habitat found at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve is the rarest of our remaining coastal wetlands. The publicly land was acquired for, and is dedicated to, the protection of ecologically sensitive species - including 7 endangered species, and dozen of otherwise imperiled species.
We - the citizens - who own the land known as the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve - do not want to see this wildlife haven encroached on by bulldozers, earthmovers or other heavy equipment that would, in effect, result in an industrial alteration of habitat where wildlife now thrive.
We support the preservation - FIRST - of the habitat required for the 7 endangered species that the state and federal government are obliged to protect on our behalf.
We also do not want radical changes to the Ballona Creek levees, which serve a purpose similar to the historical dune buffer from the sea, keeping out high salinity sea water which could be toxic to many of the plants and animals at Ballona.
These creek levees also keep the upstream pollution from entering the marsh and grasslands; and the levees also provide wonderful recreation facilities - including a rowing channel and a bicycle path. And for bird watchers and nature lovers, these levees are the best observation locations for viewing wildlife - wild nature - on the coast of a highly urbanized area.
Please instruct your agencies to stop this destructive plan and instead begin anew with a community-engaged plan that is guided by the Precautionary Principle of "First Do No Harm!"
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