Building A Better Wetland

by Hasan Nouri, President; Rivertech, Inc., 23332 Mill Creek Drive, Laguna Hills, CA 92653,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1989, Vol. 59, Issue 8, Pg. 45-46

Document Type: Feature article


Nouri described an engineering plan designed for the National Audubon Society to restore the Ballona Wetlands of southern California, which has been severely degraded by population growth, agricultural and industrial activity, road construction and other factors involved in development. The key goal of the plan was to restore the normal tidal flow from the Pacific that had been cut off by construction of a levee at the wetland's northern edge. Nouri proposed that this could be done through a system of computer-operated tidal gates that would regulate water levels throughout the wetland automatically, exchanging nearly all the saltwater during each cycle. Also included in the design was a freshwater diversion component and use of the wetlands for flood control without compromising environmental standards. The project grew out of a proposal made by the owners of a 957 acre property, which included the Ballona Wetlands, to fund the restoration and create an endowment for continued maintenance of the wetland in order to gain approval to develop the remainder of the land. The Audubon Society also plans a living wetlands museum as part of the project.

Subject Headings: Ecological restoration | Tides | Wetlands (fresh water) | Highway and road design | Salt water | Light rail transit | Population projection | Agriculture | California | United States

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