A panel of experts and political leaders will be speaking out tomorrow against a plan to bulldoze the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve during a Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, June 17th, at 9:00am PST. Los Angeles’ last coastal wetlands, the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, is located in Playa del Rey, California.
As previously reported by WAN, the plan has been falsely described as a habitat “restoration” to give the oil industry cover. In fact, SoCalGas has reportedly paid off other conservation nonprofits to support the phony “restoration,” donating $70,000 to Heal the Bay in the past five years.
However, the real agenda of the plan to bulldoze these precious wetlands is to repair the crumbling gas pipes and wells lying below the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, which have a long history of leaks.
“This cynical ploy to deceive taxpayers has angered environmentalists, conservationists, and animal advocates who warn that thousands of animals and plants, many threatened and endangered, would be wiped off the face of the earth if this misguided plan is allowed to go forward,” said In Defense of Animals Wild Animals Campaigner Lisa Levinson, who will host the virtual event. “Wetlands are vital carbon-sinks. This is precisely the type of habitat destruction that accelerates climate change. The answer is not to destroy LA’s last coastal wetlands; the answer is to close the destructive gas storage facility.”
Thirty-eight political, environmental, and animal rights organizations have joined forces with In Defense of Animals to oppose the plan, including the Sierra Club, Los Angeles Audubon Society, Ballona Ecosystem Education Project, Ballona Institute, the Canyon Back Alliance, the Coalition to Preserve LA, and the Resource Renewal Institute.
The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club also formally signed on to the LA County Democratic Party’s resolution denouncing the destruction. The resolution is a powerful and succinct explanation of why this scheme to destroy the Ballona Wetlands is an outrageous misuse of public money.
The West LA Democratic Club has also issued a resolution calling for an immediate halt of any gas injections into the SoCalGas underground gas storage system, which lies beneath the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.
Moderated by Molly Basler from Green Dream Campaign and Climate Reality, the Virtual Town Hall will feature an esteemed panel of speakers including:
Ethan Senser, Southern California Organizer, Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action
Tony Hale, Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Resolution Committee
Max Goldberg, Corresponding Secretary of the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club
Marc Saltzberg, Executive Board Member of the West LA Democratic Club
Dorothy Reik, President of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains