Contents 1 History 2 Watershed and course 2.1 Crossings and tributaries 3 Ecology and conservation 3.1 Pollution 4 Culture 5 In popular culture 6 See also 7 References 8 External links


History[edit] Duck hunting on the Ballona lowlands, 1890. During the Pre-Columbian era, Tongva people existed as hunters and gatherers in small villages throughout the Ballona Creek watershed and other parts of the Los Angeles basin. Native American culture and land management practice was disrupted by the arrival of Spanish explorers.[4] In 1769, the Tongva met their first Europeans when Portola expedition came through on its way north. Continuing west after crossing the Los Angeles River, diarist Fray Juan Crespi noted that the party "came across a grove of very large alders...from which flows a stream of water...The water flowed afterwards in a deep channel towards the southwest". Researchers identified the place as the headwaters of Ballona Creek. The explorers made camp nearby on August 3.[5] Around 1820, a mestizo rancher named Augustine Machado began grazing his cattle on the Ballona wetlands and claimed a fourteen-thousand acre Mexican land grant that stretched from modern-day Culver City to Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. Ballona Creek and Lagoon are named for the Ballona or Paseo de las Carretas land grant, dated November 27, 1839. The Machado and Talamantes families, co-grantees of the rancho, heralded from Baiona in northern Spain.[6][7] After the land grant claims were lost, the area then experienced rapid growth, with open land being transformed into agricultural use.


Watershed and course[edit] Map of Ballona Creek watershed, 2010. The Ballona Creek watershed totals about 130 square miles (340 km2). Its land use consists of 64% residential, 8% commercial, 4% industrial, and 17% open space.[3] The major tributaries to the Ballona Creek and Estuary include Centinela Creek, Sepulveda Canyon Channel and Benedict Canyon Channel; most of the creek's minor tributaries have been destroyed by development or paved over and flow into Ballona Creek as a network of underground storm drains. At the time of Spanish settlement, the Los Angeles River turned to the west just south of present-day Bunker Hill, joining Ballona Creek just to the west of its current channel. However, during a major flood in 1825, the Los Angeles River's course changed to its present channel, and Ballona Creek became a completely distinct waterway. Much of the above-ground section of the creek was lined with concrete as part of the flood-control project undertaken by the United States Army Corps of Engineers following the Los Angeles Flood of 1938.[8] Ballona Creek Watershed climate can be characterized as Mediterranean with average annual rainfall of approximately 15 inches per year over most of the developed portions of the watershed. The flow rate in the Creek varies considerably from a trickle flow of about 14 cubic feet (0.40 m3) per second during dry weather to 71,400 cubic feet (2,020 m3) per second during a 50-year storm event.[3] Ballona Wetlands and Del Rey Lagoon are connected to the Ballona Estuary through tide gates. Crossings and tributaries[edit] From northern source to southern mouth (year built in parentheses):[9] Begins at South Cochran Avenue South Burnside Avenue (1974) Hauser Boulevard (1974) Thurman Avenue (1974) South Fairfax Avenue (1962) Interstate 10 (1964) La Cienega Boulevard (1937) Washington Boulevard (1938) National Boulevard north (1967) Expo Line (Los Angeles Metro) (originally Santa Monica Air Line (1909)) National Boulevard south (1967) Higuera Street (1938) Duquesne Avenue (1938) Overland Avenue (1938) Westwood Boulevard [Pedestrian Bridge to Bike Path] Sepulveda Boulevard (1985) Sawtelle Boulevard (1988) Interstate 405 - San Diego Freeway (1960) Sepulveda Channel enters Inglewood Boulevard (1937) South Centinela Avenue (1938) State Route 90 (1972) Centinela Creek enters Lincoln Boulevard/State Route 1 (1937) Culver Boulevard (1937) Pacific Avenue [Bridge to Bike Path] Springtime overnight rains runoff into Ballona Creek in this picture taken from a kite. Mar Vista Gardens can be seen on the right as a cleanup crew works under the Inglewood Blvd. overpass. Centinela Creek (right) joins Ballona Creek at the Estuary. Centinela Creek captures runoff from southeastern part of the watershed. Stone Canyon Creek, located south of Stone Canyon Reservoir, flows through UCLA as a natural stream and later joins Sepuvelda Channel as a storm drain. Near its end, Ballona Creek (left) runs adjacent to Marina del Rey harbor entrance (right) before both empty into the Santa Monica Bay. The Marina del Rey Breakwater can be seen in the distance spanning both the harbor entrance and the terminus of Ballona Creek


Ecology and conservation[edit] The historic wetland complex at the mouth of Ballona Creek probably occupied about 2000 acres. Although much of it was drained and developed, a portion remains protected. The State of California owns 600 acres of the former wetlands; the CDFW (California Department of Fish and Wildlife) owns 540 acres, and the State Lands Commission owns 60 acres, including a newly created freshwater marsh. Much of these preserved lands are designated as the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and despite historic degradation, conditions are improving. Wetland flora includes pickleweed, marsh heather, saltgrass, arrowgrass and glasswort, and a variety of upland and exotic species including brome, iceplant, oxalis, and ryegrass. Bird species of special interest observed in the reserve include nesting pairs of Belding’s Savannah sparrow (Passerculus rostratus/sandwichensis beldingi) and foraging use by California least terns (Sterna antillarum browni).[10] Pollution[edit] The urbanization of the watershed, and associated with it the pollution of urban runoff and stormwater, has degraded the water quality in Ballona Creek and its Estuary. Ballona Creek is listed by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board impaired for fecal coliform, heavy metals, and pesticides. Dry weather urban runoff and storm water, both conveyed by storm drains, are the primary sources of pollutions in the Creek.


Culture[edit] Many national, historical, archeological and cultural landmarks, tourist attractions, educational institutions, businesses and industries exist in Ballona Creek Watershed. With year-round Mediterranean climate, the area attracts immigrants and visitors from all over the world making Ballona Creek Watershed a vibrant melting pot of culture. A bike path that extends almost seven miles from National Boulevard in Culver City to the end of Ballona Creek Estuary provides opportunities for recreation in the area. Ballona Creek Estuary and Ballona Wetlands provide habitat to many species of waterfowls, shorebirds, and waders.


In popular culture[edit] In the 1997 movie Volcano, Mike Roark (Tommy Lee Jones) dropped a 20-story apartment building in a controlled demolition in order to divert a flowing river of lava into Ballona Creek and thus into the Pacific Ocean.


See also[edit] Ballona Creek bicycle path Ballona Wetlands


References[edit] ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ballona Creek ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed 2011-10-04 ^ a b c EIP Associates (2004). Ballona Creek Watershed Management Plan (Report). Retrieved 2016-08-05.  ^ Castillo, E. D. (1994). "Gender status decline, resistance, and accommodation among female neophytes in the missions of California: A San Gabriel case study". American Indian Culture and Research Journal. 18 (1): 67–93. Retrieved 18 August 2013. http://aisc.metapress.com/content/u861u35618852412/ ^ Bolton, Herbert E. (1927). Fray Juan Crespi: Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast, 1769-1774. HathiTrust Digital Library. pp. 148–149. Retrieved 2016-08-05.  ^ Erwin G. Gudde; William Bright (2004). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names. University of California Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-520-24217-3. Retrieved 2011-10-04.  ^ "Early History". Friends of Ballona Wetlands. Retrieved 2011-10-04.  ^ Coastal Conservancy Report (PDF) (Report). 2007-07-16. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-10-04.  ^ "National Bridge Inventory Database". Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved 2009-08-07.  ^ Mary Small (2010-07-21). Ballona Wetland Public Access Improvements (PDF) (Report). California Coastal Commission. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 


External links[edit] Friends of Ballona Wetlands Ballona Creek Renaissance Ballona Creek Watershed Management Plan of Los Angeles County Ballona Creek Watershed Total Maximum Daily Loads v t e Greater Los Angeles Area Central city Los Angeles Counties Los Angeles Orange Riverside San Bernardino Ventura Satellite cities Long Beach Riverside San Bernardino Cities >200k Anaheim Fontana Glendale Huntington Beach Irvine Long Beach Moreno Valley Oxnard Riverside San Bernardino Santa Ana Cities and towns 100k−200k Burbank Corona Costa Mesa Downey East Los Angeles El Monte Fullerton Garden Grove Inglewood Lancaster Murrieta Norwalk Ontario Orange Palmdale Pasadena Pomona Rancho Cucamonga Rialto Santa Clarita Simi Valley Temecula Thousand Oaks Torrance Ventura Victorville West Covina Area regions Los Angeles metropolitan area Antelope Valley Central Los Angeles Coachella Valley Colorado Desert Conejo Valley Downtown Los Angeles East Los Angeles Gateway Cities Greater Hollywood Harbor Area Inland Empire Mojave Desert Northwest Los Angeles Palos Verdes Peninsula Pomona Valley San Bernardino Valley San Fernando Valley San Gabriel Valley Santa Ana Valley Santa Clarita Valley Simi Valley South Bay South Los Angeles Victor Valley Westside Los Angeles Landforms Los Angeles Basin Baldwin Hills (range) Catalina Island Channel Islands Chino Hills Hollywood Hills Oxnard Plain Palos Verdes Hills Puente Hills San Fernando Valley San Gabriel Mountains San Gabriel Valley San Jacinto Mountains Santa Ana Mountains Santa Monica Mountains Santa Susana Mountains Sierra Pelona Mountains Simi Hills Verdugo Mountains Bodies of water Los Angeles River Aliso Creek Arroyo Calabasas Arroyo Seco Ballona Creek Bell Creek Big Bear Lake Coyote Creek Lake Arrowhead Lake Gregory Lake Perris Lake Piru Los Angeles Aqueduct Malibu Creek Mojave River Pacific Ocean Pyramid Lake Rio Hondo San Gabriel River San Juan Creek San Pedro Bay Santa Ana River Santa Clara River Santa Margarita River Santa Monica Bay Tujunga Wash Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ballona_Creek&oldid=805551379" Categories: Rivers of Los Angeles County, CaliforniaGeography of Los AngelesBaldwin Hills (mountain range)Culver City, CaliforniaMarina del Rey, CaliforniaPlaya del Rey, Los AngelesPlaya Vista, Los AngelesWestside (Los Angeles County)Rivers of Southern CaliforniaHidden categories: Webarchive template webcite linksCoordinates on WikidataGeobox usage tracking for river type


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