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Ballona Watershed Green Map

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Contact City of Santa Monica, Andrew Basmajian -
310-458-8916 x 1
Or Duvivier Architects, Isabelle Duvivier -

Water, Earth, People.
About this Map

What is the Ballona Watershed? Probably the most depicted land mass on the planet. It encompasses the watershed of La Ballona Creek, which includes the communities of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice, Santa Monica, Culver City, Inglewood, West Los Angeles, and portions of Los Angeles. Inspite of the public perception of Los Angeles as a sprawling concrete metropolis, the Ballona Watershed Green Map was created by Isabelle Duvivier, to highlight the wealth of natural features in this highly urbanized area. For example we have the largest wildland within any world city, Topanga State Park, where one can still find mountain lions and bobcats. Thousands of birds stop in the Ballona Wetlands during migrations and our many rivers, though dry most of the year, rage during the short rainy season.

The Ballona Watershed Green Map shows locations of important waterways, wildlife migration routes, existing and lost wetlands, public lands, and endangered species.

Visualizing a watershed (as opposed to a city or other political region) gives us the unique opportunity to look at the relationships between water, earth, and people. Watersheds define geographic habitats of plants and animals, provide important environmental benefits such as water filtration and storage and the hydrologic cycles of precipitation, percolation and evaporation. By channeling streams and paving over the earth as we have done in our urban areas, we have drastically altered the watershed.

It is our hope that the reader of this map will better understand the importance of watershed thinking, and will contemplate what natural features we still have, as well as what we need to do to preserve, restore or recreate native habitat.

Community Outcomes

This map is used as an environmental education tool by a variety of environmental organizations such as Sustainable Works, Heal the Bay, Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Ballona Wetlands Land Trust and Environmental Programs Division of the City of Santa Monica.

It is also used as a watershed education tool by several local school district such as Santa Monica Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and Culver City Unified School District.

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