How much area did the Ballona Wetlands originally occupy? The Ballona Wetlands were once larger than LAX, the L.A. Coliseum, and the Staples Center combined! volunteer now »
Historic Moments

1978   Friends of Ballona Wetlands incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization Ruth Lansford, Howard Towner, and Ed Tarvyd among first Board members

1979   Tours begin along Ballona Creek, inaugurating the Friends Education Program

1984   Lawsuit filed against California Coastal Commission

1990   Settled lawsuit with successful outcome of saving 340 acres of Ballona Wetlands, funding for Ballona Wetlands Foundation, commitment to create Freshwater marsh, and land set aside for Ballona Interpretive Center within development

1992   Initiated tide gates project with multiple agencies including Army Corps of Engineers, County of Los Angeles and Heal the Bay for self-regulating tide gate installation

1994   Created Ballona dunes restoration program as a volunteer effort

1998   Received funding for paid staff for dunes restoration

2002   Ballona Tide gate installation completed creating a healthier salt marsh

2003   Dedication of Freshwater Marsh and creation of Freshwater Marsh docent program

2003   Fostered state purchase of Ballona through Trust for Public Land
(600 Ballona acres now owned by the State of California)

2004 / Ongoing   Active Stakeholder with Coastal Conservancy and California Fish and Game for interim Ballona stewardship and long-term restoration planning

2005   Successfully advocated for an Ecological Reserve designation for Ballona Wetlands with California Fish and Game

2005   Board Development Recruited five new Board members, 2 became emeritus

2006   Created and approved three-year strategic plan

2007   In partnership with LMU, launched Pollution Prevention Project to reduce pollution in the Ballona Watershed

2007 / 2008   Focus on Fundraising with new funding from City of Los Angeles for Pollution Prevention; Southern California Edison and Sony for dunes restoration and education; William C. Bannerman Foundation and JiJi Foundation for organizational capacity

2008   Jacob Lipa named as Board President
Catherine Tyrrell named as Vice President
Ruth Lansford assumed Founder title

2009   The Friends celebrate 31 years of wetlands restoration, preservation and stewardship. We also receive new funding from Southern California Edison and Sony for dunes restoration and education, and a $25,000 capacity building grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation