Golden Gate University Law Review


Joan Hartmann


The Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project is an unprecedented alliance for Southern California that currently includes sixteen state and federal agencies, local government, business leaders, and the environmental community working with an illustrious panel of scientific advisors and active task forces in each of the five coastal Southern California counties. It seeks to acquire, restore and expand wetlands in these counties. What follows describes the lessons, the tensions, the initial achievements, and the as yet unresolved issues in the unfolding story of the Recovery Project. Part I describes the unprecedented growth experienced in coastal Southern California and the effect this has had on the region's wetlands. Part I also identifies the outstanding values inhering in the remaining, remnant and recoverable wetlands. Part II traces the origins of the Recovery Project back to earlier efforts to identify and carry out wetland mitigation projects to offset the impact of port expansion on aquatic resources. Part III explores the forces giving rise to what was initially called the "Clearinghouse" and what is now the Wetlands Recovery Project. Part IV describes what has been accomplished by the Recovery Project. Part V sets out a few of the major challenges ahead for the Recovery Project's leaders and supporters.

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