Every year the Friends of Ballona Wetlands hosts an informational get together to educate the public on the Salt Marshes and Dunes in Playa del Rey. Come on by at 1:00 PM on Friday, July 7th to learn about our coastal ecosystem and explore this area that is otherwise gates and off limits. The tour begins at the parking lot behind Alkali Water (formerly Gordon’s Market), 303 Culver Boulevard in Playa del Rey. The tour lasts about two hours though you can leave early if you wish.
The tour will walk you through how this unique bit of nature is thriving amongst an urban environment. This wetland has a long history of adapting to humans though. Eight to ten thousand years ago ancient humans first inhabited this bit of land, overtime these ancient humans were replaced by people from the Mohave Desert who called themselves the Tongva. In the centuries since the Tongva people inhabited the wetlands the increasing Los Angeles metropolis has made it harder for plants and animals to thrive. In the last 200 years, the wetlands have changed forever; making it our duty to help maintain what is left of it. Cars, oil, airplanes and real estate has all effected the way that the wetlands have adapted, but recently the wetlands have begun to thrive again. The biggest success to the wetland growth came in 1990 when Maguire Thomas Partners bought out the area and agreed to give up a significant portion of the 1,187 acres to help protect and restore the wetlands.
Today, there are over 600 acres of protected wetland in Playa del Rey. A 2004 renovation of a 1996 tidegate has allowed a more natural flow of saltwater and sea life to enter the wetlands, creating an environment similar to what was there before significant human damage.
This tour will delve deeper into the history of our wetlands, and allow you to experience a unique walk through some of the most beautifully natural parts of Silicon Beach.