“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Venice in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

History of Ballona Lagoon

History of Ballona Lagoon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, December 4, 2018
1. History of Ballona Lagoon Marker
Today, Ballona Lagoon is a (16-acre) remnant of a formerly extensive coastal wetland. Like other southern California wetlands, urbanization has reduced its size and degraded its habitat over the last century. Historically, Ballona was much larger (2,200 acres), and formed over a much longer period (18,000 years).

As the last glacial period ended, rising sea levels inundated the mouth of Ballona Creek to create Ballona Bay along the base of Del Rey Bluffs. Over time, sand spits eventually closed-off the outer bay to create a lagoon, while creek sediments filled the inner bay. Extensive salt and fresh-water marshlands developed.

The earliest settlers arrived about 7,000 years ago. The Tongva people lived in scattered campsites along the bluff tops. From 3,000 to 1,000 years ago, settlements were established below the bluffs, initially along Ballona Creek, and then at Ballona Lagoon.

In the early 1900's, Abbot Kinney constructed the Venice Canals, and tapped into Ballona Lagoon as a water source. Oil was discovered in the late 1920's. Production peaked during the 1930's, but persisted until the 1970's.
Ballona Lagoon and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, December 4, 2018
2. Ballona Lagoon and Marker
As oil reserves decreased, residential and other development increased. Ballona Creek's channelization (1930's), and Marina Del Rey's construction (1960's), permanently split Ballona Lagoon from its twin (named, "Del Rey Lagoon") to the south.

In recent years, community concern about Ballona Lagoon's deterioration led to the establishment of Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve in 1988. Community intervention halted a proposed marina in 1997. The east bank was restored in 1999, while the west bank will be restored by 2012.
Erected by City of Los Angeles.
Location. 33° 58.462′ N, 118° 27.677′ W. Marker is in Venice, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Jib Street, on the left when traveling south on Pacific Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Marina del Rey CA 90292, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marina Del Rey (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Helmsman (approx. 0.9 miles away); Venice (approx. one mile away); Marina Del Rey Small Craft Harbor (approx. one mile away); Roy Jones House (approx. 2.3 miles away); Ocean Park Branch Library (approx. 2.3 miles away); Shotgun House (approx. 2.4 miles away); “The Ink Well” (approx. 2.8 miles away).
More about this marker. Nearby interpretive signs describe the area’s Plants; Animals; and Ecology.
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This marker is included in these topic lists: EnvironmentMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 75 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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