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Pets Not Even Allowed at Ballona Wetlands Pet Center Site

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The nonprofit Annenberg Foundation has been trying to build some kind of pet adoption center for ages now--a plan was scuttled in Rancho Palos Verdes, so they moved things over to Area C in the state-owned Ballona Wetlands, by Marina del Rey. Formal plans haven't even been released yet, but there's already plenty of opposition, and some people have pointed out that "state rules prohibit anyone from bringing pets, including dogs and cats, into the Ballona Wetlands," reports the Daily Breeze. The Department of Fish and Wildlife commissioners would have to change the rules to allow for the Annenberg's plans, which include a building with interpretive center about the wetlands, veterinary facilities (for both wild and domestic animals), and "themed" adoption suites. The 46,000-square-foot building "would sit on posts and beams, its rooftop planted with dune buckwheat, and focus on 'urban ecology,' exploring such concepts as interactions between domestic and wild animals and human interactions with the animals around them in an urban environment." The plan also includes "public trails and a connection to the nearby bike path."

Annenberg here is building on public (preserved!) land, so perhaps wisely it's agreed to throw in all kinds of extras: they'll plant native grasses on the Culver Marina Little League's adjacent ballfields and parking lots, replace backstops and fencing, and "provide $200,000 per year for five years to help the state dedicate a full-time staff person to the site." They'll also pay for operational expenses and plan to spend up to $2 million for public access improvements to the area. A draft environmental impact report on the project could be out midsummer.
· Ground game: Annenberg Foundation's Ballona Wetlands proposal stirs debate [DB, image via]
· Pet and Wildlife Center Project Moves to Ballona Wetlands [Curbed LA]