Friends of Ballona Wetlands is committed to the protection and restoration of Los Angeles' last remaining coastal wetlands. These wetlands provide a habitat for wildlife, protect us from severe storms, clean our water and air, provide a peaceful place for admiring nature, and so much more.
Apart from protecting the wetlands, we are also focused on environmental education. Our hands-on STEAM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) provide several thousands of students (pre-K through graduate school) with the opportunity to explore the wetlands as an outdoor classroom annually. Programs utilize the Ballona Wetlands as a laboratory where students learn about ecology, and stewardship, and brainstorm solutions to current issues as we move into an era of significant environmental challenges. Many of these youth come from inner-city environments and rarely if ever, interact with nature; for some, this visit is life-changing.
Each year, the Friends' restoration program removes more than 20 tons of trash and non-native, invasive plants from Ballona. Through these programs, we have restored the rare and historic sand dune ecosystem within the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and brought back the Federally endangered El Segundo blue butterfly. We also expanded habitat for the State threatened Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. Both of these species live only in California and have lost nearly all of their original habitat.