Incredible images of Los Angeles when it was covered in wetlands

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Incredible images of Los Angeles when it was covered in wetlands

Well_dressed_gentleman_standing_knee_deep_in_Playa_del_Rey_lagoon_looking_east_ca1902

Pierce Photography Collection, USC Libraries

A man wades into Ballona Lagoon, Los Angeles, California, circa 1902.

Before Los Angeles became the center of the film industry, it was covered in wetlands and farmland.

The Southern California Coastal Water Research Project recently began mapping LA's lost Ballona Creek watershed, which once spanned thousands of acres and ranged from freshwater ponds to marshes to meadows for several centuries.

European colonists later came and formed the city's first street grid, destroying around a third of these wetlands.

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Archival photos from the USC Libraries show what LA looked like before it became a modern municipality. Take a look at the city's transformation.