SANTA MONICA, CA — Local environmental activists celebrated this month thanks to the passage of federal legislation that directs the National Parks Service to study natural resources, recreation possibilities and cultural and historical resources along the coast of Los Angeles County.
In December, Congressman Ted Lieu announced he signed a bill into law that would look at specific areas of the coast from Will Rogers State Beach to Torrance Beach as part of a three-year study to consider which areas could be included in a future unit of the NPS.
Specifically, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Boundary Adjustment Study Act will have the National Park Service conduct a Special Resource Study to determine whether to add much of the Santa Monica Bay watershed to the existing recreational area or make it a new national recreation area.
“We are so grateful to our Congressmember, Ted Lieu, for his leadership and for staying with this effort through the last six and a half years to get this study bill approved. And we look forward to working with Representative Lieu for the next few years as we move this study bill into creating a unit of the National Park Service here on the Los Angeles coast!” said Marcia Hanscom, Director of Los Angeles Coast Forever!
Potential study areas include:
- Sensitive public access to beaches, coastal trails, wetlands and sand dunes for enjoyment and learning
- Honoring Indigenous tribal people of the LA coast and developing interpretive educational opportunities that highlight African American histories in Venice and the South bay beach cities
- Preserving historically and culturally important landmarks that include three lighthouses, the Korean Friendship Bell and other historically significant areas such as the Venice Beach House and Village Green
- Protection of fragile habitats for rare and imperiled species
“I am particularly delighted to learn of the passage of his legislation in the recent omnibus bill that will bring the National Park Service into LA coastal areas where so much of their expertise and professional guidance can help ensure protection of places like the Ballona Wetlands, the Baldwin Hills and so many more important ecosystems,” said Beth Holden-Garland, Pacific Palisades resident and member of Los Angeles Coast Forever!
Funding for the study came from President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package signed at the end of 2022. Lieu secured $22 million of that total to go toward the Los Angeles coast National Parks Service study and other community projects in the county.
After the three-year study is completed, the results and any conclusions and recommendations will be submitted to Natural Resources committees in the Senate and House of Representatives according to the bill.
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