Playa Vista Honored for Its Stormwater Management Program and Freshwater Marsh

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California Stormwater Quality Association recognizes the new Westside community for its commitment to protection and enhancement of natural resources.

We are very proud to bring this state-of-the-art program to our wonderful community and pleased to be recognized by the California Stormwater Quality Association.

Playa Vista was honored by the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA) with the 2006 Outstanding Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) Implementation Project Award. The Westside community's Stormwater Management Program and Freshwater Marsh system has resulted in a net reduction of pollutants to the Ballona Wetlands, the Ballona Channel and Santa Monica Bay.

"The improvement to not one, but three, local water resources proves the value of using a regional approach to solve stormwater quality issues," said President of Playa Vista Steve Soboroff. "We are very proud to bring this state-of-the-art program to our wonderful community and pleased to be recognized by the California Stormwater Quality Association."

Outstanding features of the project include the 51-acre Freshwater Marsh and Riparian Corridor system, which collects stormwater runoff from the community and its neighbors and serves as a natural water filter by removing contaminants before the water enters the Santa Monica Bay. Located along the base of the Westchester Bluffs and at the southeast corner of Lincoln and Jefferson Boulevards, the freshwater system consists of several habitat areas, including open water, marsh, willow scrub woodland and mixed riparian.

In addition to providing stormwater management, the system protects the streets, businesses and homes in the area from flooding, and creates an attractive environment for birds and other wildlife. Since construction of the marsh was completed in 2003, more than 180 species of birds have been observed, some of which have not been seen in the Ballona region for several decades. More than 3,000 native trees and 10,000 native shrubs and grasses were originally planted at the Freshwater Marsh, including California alders, Arroyo willow, Mexican elderberry, bulrush and cattail.

"The Freshwater Marsh at Playa Vista is a widely recognized example of the best in sustainable design and environmental protection," said Vice President of Entitlements Marc Huffman. "Not only is this program cleaning our local waters naturally, but we are thrilled to provide a fantastic new habitat for native plants, birds and wildlife in the heart of the city."

The Playa Vista Riparian Corridor will complete the freshwater wetlands system. The corridor ranges from between 21 and 162 feet wide, is 10,300 feet long, and will include 3,000 plants per acre.

In addition to the Freshwater Marsh and Riparian Corridor, Playa Vista is implementing a number of other innovative design components, such as stormwater planters for roof runoff and bioswales, which incorporate landscape elements in removing pollutants from surface runoff.

Playa Vista was nominated for the award by GeoSyntec Consultants, a CASQA member. GeoSyntec assisted Playa Vista in developing and implementing the comprehensive stormwater quality and quantity management plan, which treats urban stormwater from over 1,000 acres in both on and offsite drainage areas.

About Playa Vista
Playa Vista was formerly the site of Howard Hughes' aircraft plant, runway and hangars. Today, more than 4,000 people live at Playa Vista, the first mixed-use community to be built in West Los Angeles in the last 50 years. With 70 percent of its original land area designated as parks and open space, Playa Vista has been hailed as a model urban development, including recognition as a recipient of the prestigious Ahwahnee Award. Situated between Marina del Rey and Westchester, just about a mile from the beach, Playa Vista is adding critically needed housing on Los Angeles' Westside. Commercial, retail and open space are mixed into this balanced community. All properties are located within walking distance of at least one of a dozen parks, and the community is within easy reach of Santa Monica, Venice, Century City and LAX. For more information, please visit

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Kristen Coco
Playa Vista
(310) 689-7539
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