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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Douglas Fay Submits Articles

Doug Fay submitted five articles about the “Duck Pond” that were first published in the LA Times.  Four of the articles were published from Jan 20 1963 to March 1963 and one article was published in December 1972.

Note:  Anyone wanting copies of articles may get them upon request.  They just cannot be reprinted here because of copyright infringement.

The first four articles refer to the “Duck Pond” as “Bird Conservation” area and area was designated as such by the County Board of Supervisors.  It was officially opened March 21, 1963 as a place to provide shelter and food for marine and shore birds and act as a resting place for migratory flights. It was also stated that “the program is compatible with the primary designation of the parcel as a drainage basin and will not hamper other functions of the harbor in any way.”

The last article in 1963 quotes Roland C. Ross, professor of nature study at Los Angeles State College, as saying the place “may also provide a ‘toe hold on survival’ for many near-extinct species of birds fast dying off in the ultra-urban Southern California area.”

“It may even bring back a few once-numerous species now nearly extinct, such as the elegant least tern, the tree duck, and the black-necked stilt.”

Ross said every Southern Californian should be concerned about providing this natural shelter and refuge to maintain the delicate balance of nature.

In the summer of 1919, Ross camped for two months in the marshes of the area to observe the migratory birds.  He noted that birds make different sounds when in flight as compared to on the ground.

But his primary concern for the Bird Conservation area was to keep the sight and sound of humans, cats, dogs, and vermin from the bird refuge area.  As a consequence the Army engineers erected 16-foot high moles around the pond as a buffer from sights and sounds.

The December 1972 article says the county Flood Control District was granted a pair of easements by county supervisors to start construction of storm drain lines through the Oxford Basin Bird Conservation area.

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