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Preserving Wetlands Is Not Impossible

March 12, 1992

An article by Aaron Betsky (Times, Feb. 27) under the heading "Wide Open Spaces of Playa Vista Soon Will Take On the L.A. Look" states that preserving the wetlands "does not appear to be a possibility." Fortunately, this is not the case; we hope that this wrong assumption will be corrected.

Betsky praises the concept of Playa Vista and does mention in passing that 40% of the land will remain as a wetlands preserve. However, the article strongly implies that the wetlands will be destroyed by development. This idea is enhanced by use of a photograph by Lisa Romerein, a view of Ballona from its western border facing east toward Lincoln Boulevard. As a matter of fact, the entire area shown in the photograph will remain open space wetlands and will be protected and restored as a result of the long fight by the Friends of Ballona Wetlands with help from State Controller Gray Davis and a major contribution by Councilwoman Ruth Gallanter of the 6th District.

The Wetlands Committee, although technically "developer-financed," is comprised of a representative of the Friends, of the State Lands Commission, of the 6th District and of the developer, and will oversee the restoration and maintenance of the restored wetlands using funds originally exacted from the developer by the Coastal Commission and continued in the settlement of the lawsuit by the Friends.

We urge the public to join us to hear the true story and take a close-up look at the wetlands at our next Ballona Wetlands Walk, Sunday, March 22, between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. We meet at the south end of the Pacific Avenue bridge in Playa del Rey. Information: (310) 821-7695.

MARY LEIGHTON THOMSON

Playa del Rey

Thomson is a member of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands.

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