Ballona Wetlands


By Carol Fondiller

According to the weekly newspaper The Argonaut, May 22, 2003, the Catellus Development company has devised a plan for evicting long-term residents of a 45-acre site situated on a Playa del Rey bluff.

The original plan was to poison the long-term bluff residents with an anti-coagulant, which would cause the residents to bleed to death, but would prevent the residents from invading the surrounding homes.

Catellus Corporation wants to eradicate the residents that have inhabited the bluffs for eons in preparation to build 114 homes on the bluff. The development was about to eradicate the residents by adding the killing agent to the soil when Councilwoman Miscikowski ordered the developer to “re-evaluate” the plan. Several community organizations and environmental groups had sprung into action to prevent this holocaust.

The developers then countered with the proposal of relocating the inhabitants to the Ballona Wetlands. The developers were treating them like long-term tenants. Except these are not tenants, they are Rodents, rats, vermin, who have lived on the marshes forever with the exception of the European Rattus Whateverous, which the Europeans imported at great expense to the Americas, and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse and Gophers that are indigenous to the Wetlands.

Environmentalists and safety groups were concerned that the rodents–which are midway in the food chain in the wetland ecosystem –i f poisoned would kill off birds and other animals who feed on the rodents, and could pollute the wetland ecosystem.

The Diaspora of the rats to the wetlands was frowned upon by environmental groups because it would upset the delicate balance of the Ballona Wetlands.

Some groups of the conservation community see this as an opportunity to purchase the bluffs to ensure the viability of the wetlands below the bluffs.

Unfortunately, efforts to dislodge developers from the bluffs so far have been futile, because they won’t go, and as for using anti-coagulants on developers – well, it just won’t work.

Developers don’t bleed.


(This is a re-print from the June 2003 edition of the Beachhead – the more things change, the more they stay the same. June 22 would have been Carol Fondiller’s 78th Birthday. Happy Birthday, Carol! The Beachhead misses you…)

Leave a Reply