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Environment: Plan for Wetlands Development

June 01, 1995

Scott Collins describes the Ballona Wetlands as a "200-acre saltwater marsh" (Westside, May 21). In truth, the saltwater marsh is located within the 517-acre Ballona Wetlands. The developer of Playa Vista has agreed, under threat of continuation of a lawsuit, not to build on the 200 acres and chooses to describe that fraction of the real wetlands as the entire wetlands to avoid admitting its goal of developing the majority of the wetlands and the surrounding acres.

In the same article, Jane Harman states, "What I've been working on is to speed the restoration." Restoration used in this context is doublespeak for development. The so-called restoration cannot take place without the development of the wetlands, and any real restoration will be impossible with the Culver City-size Playa Vista development encroaching on the tiny fragment of wetlands the developer has agreed to leave unpaved. Harman's position is reminiscent of the military leader during the Vietnam War who said he had to burn the village in order to save it.

Harman would have us believe that the only threat to the Santa Monica Bay and Ballona Wetlands is the rollback of the Clean Water Act, but Playa Vista is equally destructive. The public is being hoodwinked by developers who will destroy the only remaining wetland in Los Angeles County for profit and by politicians who serve their campaign contributors to the detriment of their constituents.

FRANCES LONGMIRE

Los Angeles

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