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Friends In The News!

By Neysa Frechette, Office and Field Coordinator


Extra! Extra! The Ballona Wetlands makes the news in not one, but TWO local papers in the same week!


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El Segundo Blue 3 - 6 11 14 by PT

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First, The Argonaut’s Gary Walker and photographer Maria Martin joined Friends of Ballona Wetlands and many of our dedicated donors for one of our exclusive events held in the salt marsh and dunes, the Celebration of the El Segundo Blue Butterflies. After learning about these endangered and endemic beauties, the group had the luxury and privilege to see these tiny insects in action. Barely larger than a fingernail and rarely ceasing to flitter about – avoiding the camera, we were blessed with a rare, stationary sight of a breeding pair ignoring the attempted interference of another competing male. This visual is pictured on the front page of The Argonaut, see it for yourself and read more here: http://argonautnews.com/natures-last-stand/


For more photos from our Celebration of the Blues, click here to head to our Flickr page.


Second, we are proud to announce that locals have voted the Ballona Wetlands “Best Neighborhood Gem” in the HomeTown News.


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It is certainly true that many people drive past the wetlands every day without knowing the benefits and opportunities this natural space provides, but clearly the community knows that this rare habitat is a local treasure. The Friend’s are thrilled to be recommended for folks to contact for access to the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, and enthusiastically await the onslaught of newcomers who will surely attend our tours and restoration events after learning about this honorable mention! Read about our recognition on page 9 of 25 electronic pages, and all the other “2016 Bests” here: https://issuu.com/westchesterpdrhometownnews/docs/bestof2016-2

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Save the Date! October 1st, 2016 – 11th Annual Moonlight on the Marsh

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The Friends are hoping you have a fabulous Summer, and to welcome Fall we are having our 11th annual Moonlight on the Marsh celebration on Saturday, October 1 – honoring two fabulous women: Susan Zolla, owner of The Inn at Playa del Rey, and Dr. Shelley Luce, Executive Director of Environment Now. Be sure to SAVE THAT DATE for a great evening at Loyola Marymount University with the Friends.


Click here to download the Sponsor Registration Form!


To register online, click here.

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Got Birds?!

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On Saturday, May 7 Audubon California and 30 some organizations across Los Angeles at 50 different sites celebrated Bird LA Day.


The Friends invited South Bay Wildlife Rehab to the Ballona Freshwater Marsh to dazzle our visitors with crowd favorites, including Miss Luna (the Barn Owl) and Eddie (the Great Horned Owl).


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Despite the early morning rain we had over 120 visitors, most of whom went out on 2 bird walks around the back trail of the Freshwater Marsh. Cameron Tescher got a great shot of a “very good bird” – a Yellow-breasted Chat migrating through. One day chats may stick around and nest!


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Over seven hours of birding, our amateur ornithologists saw 56 species of birds!


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When folks weren’t birding they were learning about other organizations and all the fine work we do in the Ballona Watershed.


A big hit with the kids was our “not so Angry Birds” game!


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Thanks to our tablers, volunteers, board members and attendees for making Bird LA Day a great success.


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BCR Jim Lamm and Bob Shanman (Large)

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For more fun photos please go to our Flickr page.


We got birds!

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Another GREAT Earth Day at Ballona!

On Saturday, April 23 from 9A until Noon, more than 200 volunteers broke up into 3 groups, removing 150 pounds of non-native weeds from the Ballona Dunes and 150 pounds of solid trash from the Ballona Creek Levee.


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Entrance

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Four staff members along with three Board Members and numerous regular volunteers came out to host our event, sponsored by SoCalGas.


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John Gregory and Lisa by April Sandifer

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Councilman Mike Bonin and his staff were on hand to welcome the crowd and do a little weeding, later walking the Creek and seeing what folks were collecting from the Levee.


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Mike Bonin Talking on Earth Day by April Sandifer

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Lisa Bonin Harriel by April Sandifer

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SoCalGas had a big group of volunteers too.


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A group from UCLA came to pull the dreaded Euphorbia terracina – one of the most aggressive weeds at Ballona.


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Our youngest volunteer was a 3 year old who brought his own wheel barrel! Later dad took him for a ride in a real one.


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Boy and Dad with boy in Wheel Barrel by Eloise Appel

A group of Girl Scouts came out too, and assisted Day on the Trestle Trail removing non-native plants.


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Bev-Sue Powers had a very provocative display of fishing line and gear that she collected over a year’s time along the Ballona Jetty, pointing out the need for proper disposal of this gear.


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April, from Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Urban Resilience, helped put up some fabulous Earth Day posters created by students from Open Magnet Charter in Westchester.


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Kids Art Work by April Sandifer

Neysa debuted a new T-Shirt and Hat being offered for a donation.


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A special thanks to Starbucks, for donating much needed coffee, and Alkaline Water in Playa del Rey – for donating delicious water!


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We had a great turnout, a great crowd – and many folks went away happy, helping Mother Earth.


All photos are available on our Flickr Page.


As a reminder, PLEASE LIKE US on Facebook to see what we are doing in the Ballona Watershed on every day – not just Earth Day!


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The Bay Foundation’s 5-Year Monitoring Report of Ballona is a Must-Read

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The Bay Foundation recently released their 5-year monitoring report of Ballona, and it is an absolute must-read. The report is the result of data collected during five years of rigorous scientific monitoring. Their comprehensive survey of the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of Ballona provides critical information on the overall condition of the Reserve.


The report found that “the Reserve is experiencing slowly deteriorating conditions across most of the areas that are hydrologically disconnected from tidal influence. These areas are disconnected largely due to the presence of the Ballona Creek levees, along with the large amount of sediment-approximately 3.1 million cubic yards-dumped on what was historic wetlands. These two key negative impacts have caused a lack of connection to water sources that would normally flow in and out of wetlands, and a continued influx of non-native and invasive vegetation, such as mustard and iceplant.”


Click here to download the report (pdf).

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