Letter To The Editor: Wetland restoration and protection

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Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor,

Many residents are familiar with the wetland on Civic Center Way just below the condos. The entire parcel is Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) under the
Malibu Local Coastal Program. This parcel was illegally cleared of the native plants and must be restored.
According to the California Water Monitoring Council, 90% of wetlands in the state have been built on, drained or overrun with invasive species. Wetlands desperately need to be restored since they are integral to the web of life. This wetland is one of the very few left in the state. It is used by all kinds of wildlife including native and migrating birds. Since it is located within the Pacific Flyway, migrating birds need this wetland parcel as
a stopover, a place to forage and rest, before continuing their long journey.

At the last Planning Commission hearing the Commissioners voted to approve only a small portion of what was once the wetland when a much greater restoration of this parcel is needed. That is why the Malibu Township Council and the Malibu Coalition for
Slow Growth have appealed this decision to the City Council.

We hope the City Council will understand the importance of restoring and preserving this most environmentally special and valuable property to increase its viability and help the variety of wildlife and beautiful birds living and dependent on this area. This property should never have been disturbed but now there is the opportunity to
restore and preserve this land. But if this parcel is ever to be developed, it should be constrained to the area allowed to be built in ESHA. A developer could still devise a profitable project because it would overlook this protected gem.

Let’s hope that the City Council members will show that they are among the majority of Malibu residents in favor of protecting this fragile ecosystem by requiring restoration of the ESHA and extending the wetland boundaries to the maximum area possible.

Jo Drummond
President, Malibu Township Council