Los Cerritos Wetlands is located on the border of Los Angeles County and Orange County, spanning the cities of Long Beach, California, and Seal Beach, California, not far from the mouth of the San Gabriel River near the Pacific Ocean. Once a vast marsh covering approximately 2,400 acres (971Â ha), it is now classified as a âdegraded wetlandsâ. A coalition of public and private entities are working to protect, purchase, and restore the remaining 776 acres (314Â ha).
Environment and wildlife
Los Cerritos Wetlands consists of two functioning marshes (Steam Shovel Slough and Zedler Marsh), plus a number of seasonal brackish ponds, all with an abundance of wildlife. The wetlands is home to several endangered species, including the Belding's savannah sparrow, California least tern, California brown pelican, wandering skipper, and the tiger beetle. A number of species protected under other acts also inhabit the wetlands, in addition to the many common plants and animals typical of a California coastal salt marsh habitat.
Most of the remaining open space, once a thriving wetlands consisting of tidal salt marshes, lagoons, bays and alkali meadows where the San Gabriel River flows into the Pacific Ocean, is currently privately owned and used for oil operations.
The cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach, the California Coastal Conservancy, the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy several local businesses, grassroots and community groups, and individual citizens are working to protect, purchase and restore the remaining acreage of the Los Cerritos Wetlands.
172 acres (0.70Â km2) of land has been acquired by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority; a total of 255.67 acres (1.0347Â km2) within the wetland boundaries are now public lands. The official community-based restoration âkick offâ began September 19, 2009, with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship Programâs Zedler Marsh Cleanup Day event. Regular habitat restoration days have since been held. A conceptual restoration plan for the entire Los Cerritos Wetlands complex is underway.
- Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust
- Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority
- Los Cerritos Stewards