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