“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.
Photographed 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.
Photographed By Craig Baker, December 4, 2018
2. Ballona Lagoon and Marker
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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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentNative AmericansNatural FeaturesWaterways & Vessels.
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 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Venice Canals (approx. 0.7 miles away); Marina Del Rey (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Helmsman (approx. 0.9 miles away); Venice Corner Ball Park (approx. 0.9 miles away); Venice
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(approx. one mile away); Marina Del Rey Small Craft Harbor (approx. one mile away); Ray Bradbury House (approx. 1.1 miles away); Saint Florian (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Venice.
More about this marker. Nearby interpretive signs describe the area’s Plants; Animals; and Ecology.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 574 times since then and 341 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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Oct. 5, 2022