The deadline to comment on a proposed interpretive center that could be built on part of the remaining 600-acre Ballona Wetlands is Saturday.
The 46,000-square-foot center that is expected to cost about $50 million and is financed partly by the Annenberg Foundation, would house exhibits on wildlife and domestic animals and include an auditorium, classrooms, facilities for animal adoption and office space for staff.
The adoption program would consist of rooms for dogs and cats, a holding area for future adoptions and veterinary services.
Public comment will be included in the California Fish and Wildlife Department’s analysis of the project’s impact for recreation, biological impact and aesthetics.
When the interpretive center was publicly announced on Jan. 27, both the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust and the Ballona Institute opposed placing the building on the remaining wetlands area and suggested that a suitable alternative off-site be considered.
“Our opposition to constructing facilities within the protected ecological reserve is very simple – we don’t have the luxury to further erode an ecosystem that is already greatly diminished from its original state,” the Ballona Institute states on its website. “There are still undeveloped acres of land adjacent to or near the ecological reserve that the Annenberg Foundation could help us acquire that would be more suitable for this construction project.”
The public may comment on the scope of the interpretive center by emailing Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project manager Donna McCormick at Donna.McCormick@icfi.com.
To learn more about the Ballona Wetlands restoration, visit www.ballonarestoration.org