LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles World Airports has announced that it has signed a three-year agreement with The Bay Foundation to continue habitat restoration at the LAX Dunes.
The dunes are the largest remaining contiguous coastal dune ecosystem in Southern California, according to the airport, and the agreement ensures both entities will continue to carefully monitor and guide restoration efforts.
“We are so pleased to have partners as dedicated as [the airport] in restoring this vital coastal system,” said Karina Johnston, The Bay Foundation’s science director. “The benefits that this site provides to rare wildlife are substantial and should be celebrated. Volunteers are always excited to see animals such as burrowing owls and horned lizards.”
The contract allows the foundation to continue habitat restoration, maintenance and monitoring of the 48 acres of the northern dunes, which has been the foundation’s focus the last few years, and expands the foundation’s efforts to an additional 52 acres, according to the airport.
With the additional acreage, foundation staff and interns will conduct monitoring and research this winter to assess and then develop restoration recommendations and priorities. Monthly and special volunteer events, student internship projects and expanded outreach efforts will continue.
Since 2014, the foundation has partnered with LAWA and the Friends of the LAX Dunes group to build a community restoration program that has recruited more than 2,000 volunteers, many of whom are K-12 students, to participate in stewardship and habitat restoration.
“Our partnership with The Bay Foundation is an important piece of LAWA’s sustainability strategy,” said Samantha Bricker, LAWA’s chief environmental and sustainability officer. “As we modernize LAX and build the airport of the future, we are ensuring that this vision keeps environmental sustainability at the forefront.”
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps are partners in the new agreement. The Bay Foundation will coordinate with the botanic garden to collect and propagate seed to supplement restoration efforts and support rare plant monitoring and out-planting experiments.
“Collectively, we’ve achieved a great deal. The expansion of our partnership to address a new area of the LAX dunes is very exciting,” said Tom Ford, executive director of The Bay Foundation. “To have such a diversity of students and people come out to support and study the results of this work is very rewarding.
“Building awareness, restoring the dunes, and gaining scientific understanding of this special place will play a central role in our efforts to develop and support plans for the next 52 acres. I’m grateful to everyone involved,” Ford added.
Wave Staff and Wire Reports