The Urban Wildlands Group

The Urban Wildlands Group is dedicated to the protection of species, habitats, and ecological processes in urban and urbanizing areas.

Ballona Wetlands Biota
and Historical Ecology Resources

Natural History Museum Survey of Biota (1981)

Schreiber, R. (ed.) 1981. Biota of the Ballona Region, Los Angeles County. Supplement I: Marina Del Rey/Ballona Local Coastal Plan. Los Angeles County Natural History Museum Foundation, Los Angeles, California. Download complete report (112.3 MB) or by chapter:

Chapter 1. The Biota of the Ballona Region, Los Angeles County, California; A Summary of the Natural History Museum Study (Ralph W. Schreiber).

Chapter 2. The Vegetation of Ballona (Robert J. Gustafson).

Chapter 3. The Insects and Related Terrestrial Arthropods of Ballona (Christopher D. Nagano, Charles L. Hogue, Roy R. Snelling, and Julian P. Donahue).

Chapter 4. The Marine Mollusks of Ballona (Martin G. Ramirez).

Chapter 5. Estuarine Fish Communities of Ballona (Camm C. Swift and Gretchen D. Frantz).

Chapter 6. The Mammals of Ballona (Richard Dean Friesen, William Kelley Thomas, and Donald R. Patten).

Chapter 7. The Herpetofauna of Ballona (Marc P. Hays and Craig Guyer).

Chapter 8. The Birds of Ballona (Charles F. Dock and Ralph W. Schreiber).

Playa Vista Phase I Biological Studies (1990-1992)

1. Allen, L. G. 1991. The Fish Populations Inhabiting Lower Marina del Rey Harbor and Ballona Channel From July 1990 to April 1991. California State University, Northridge.

2. Boland, J. M., and J. B. Zedler. 1991. The Functioning of Ballona Wetland in Relation to Tidal Flushing. Part I -- Before Tidal Restoration. Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL), San Diego State University, San Diego, California.

3. Carter, C. R. 1991. Ballona Wetlands/Playa Vista Development Non-insect Invertebrate Survey Final Report. Culver City, California.

4. Corey, K., and B. W. Massey. 1990. A Population and Banding Study on the Belding's Savannah Sparrow at Ballona Wetland, 1989-1990. Department of Biology, California State University, Long Beach.

5. Corey, K. A., 1992. Bird Survey of Ballona Wetland, Playa del Rey, CA. Department of Biology, California State University, Long Beach.

6. Henrickson, J. 1991. Botanical Resources of Playa Vista. California State University, Los Angeles.

7. Hovore, F. 1991. Biota: Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals. Frank Hovore and Associates.

8. Mattoni, R. 1991. Biological assessment of the greater Ballona Wetlands region: terrestrial arthropod species.

9. Soltz, D. L. 1991. Fish Survey of Ballona Wetlands: Areas B and D of the Playa Vista Project.

Birds of the Ballona Wetlands (1993)

Guide from National Audubon Society

Cooper Ecological Bird Research (2006, 2008)

1. Cooper, D. S. 2008. The use of historical data in the restoration of the avifauna of the Ballona Wetlands, Los Angeles County, California. Natural Areas Journal 28:83-90.

2. Cooper, D. S. 2006. Annotated checklist of extirpated, reestablished, and newly-colonized avian taxa of the Ballona Valley, Los Angeles County, California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 105:91-112.

Sea Grant Historical Estuary Dynamics Study (2010)

1. Jacobs, D., E. S. Stein, and T. Longcore. 2010, rev. 2011. Classification of California estuaries based on natural closure patterns: templates for restoration and management. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Technical Publication No. 619a. 50 pp.

2. Longcore, T. 2012. Closure dynamics of southern California estuaries and implications for restoration. Public lecture, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Video here:


Ballona Watershed Historical Ecology Study (2011)

1. Dark, S., E. D. Stein, D. Bram, J. Osuna, J. Monteferante, T. Longcore, R. Grossinger, and E. Beller. 2011. Historical ecology of the Ballona Creek watershed. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Technical Publication No. 671. 75 pp.

2. Website mapping distribution of historical wetland habitats in Ballona Creek watershed from this study:

Recent Biota Surveys by Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation (2011, 2012)

Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve Baseline Assessment Program Reports


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