BALLONA LAGOON : $15,000 Given for Wetland Restoration

Representatives of Chevron U.S.A. Products Co. have presented the Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve with a $15,000 check toward restoration of the wetland site near Venice.

The sum will go toward the lagoon group's $500,000 renovation plan for the 16.3-acre site, which includes a deep pool for increased fish habitat, dredging to ease tidal flushing, and restoration of native plant and animal species. An observation deck will be constructed for wetland education activities.

Chevron officials expressed concern over various issues in the area.

About $5,000 of the Chevron contribution will go for a wetlands study section at the new Venice Library, scheduled to open this year on Venice Boulevard.

Plans call for replanting the area with native species such as pickleweed, salt grass, alkali and wild oat. Wildlife such as pelicans, loons, herons, ducks and the El Segundo blue butterfly are to be restored to the area.

"We hope to create an environment where people can walk around and a place where schools can take their kids," said Rich Hibbs, treasurer of the Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve.

Funding for the project will come from a mixture of California State Coastal Conservancy funds, Proposition A money and individual donations. Project officials said work on the plan will begin in September and should last about three months.

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