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Playa Vista Restoration

July 12, 1998

After reading the July 2 letter from Frances Longmire regarding my comments on the wetlands restoration effort underway at Playa Vista, I feel I must respond.

Working with biologists and environmental groups, Playa Vista has crafted an extensive wetlands restoration plan that includes construction of a riparian corridor and a freshwater marsh, as well as restoration and enhancement of the existing salt marsh. We are essentially undoing years of neglect and abuse by creating a system of water flow that will encourage plants and wildlife to flourish for years to come.

While it may surprise some, in the case of a degraded wetland area where the natural hydrology has been radically altered, such as the one at Playa Vista, restoration is often done with bulldozers. Not only must channels be reconstructed, but also underground pipes must be installed to help provide and regulate water flow.

We must also remove the non-native plants that took advantage of the altered landscape and caused many of the problems in the Ballona Wetlands by choking out the native species. Simply reintroducing native species of plants and wildlife is not sufficient to restore the area.

At Playa Vista, before any bulldozer initially moves across our site, a biologist, archeologist and Native American monitor clears the path to assure that no artifacts or wildlife are disturbed. These people continually monitor the site.

PETER B. DENNISTON, President, Playa Vista

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