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Turtle Trek Guided Nature Walk

Upcoming Guided Nature Walk

Turtle Trek

When: Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 8:00AM until 10:00AM

Where: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes required. (Also, good treads on shoes are best after rains.) And kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Our walk begins with a brief orientation to our wetlands. We will discuss their history and see an important portion of them, including the Pumpkin Patch property, as we walk along the San Gabriel River and on across Second Street to view the sea turtles. On our return, we will stop at Zedler Marsh, where there is a nursery for wetlands plants and where restoration is in process. We will then walk on the levee back to our meeting place. In addition to the sea turtles, we will observe many different kinds of interesting wildlife.

We will complete our walk by heading back along the access to the parking. Bring binoculars, if you have them, we will observe many different kinds of interesting wildlife.

Closed toed shoes are required.

Turtle Trek Guided Nature Walk

 

For more information or to RSVP email elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

The Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy works to restore and preserve the few remaining wetland acres in Huntington Beach.
The Bolsa Chica Land Trust aims to purchase and preserve the remaining open space of the Bolsa Chica, one of the last remaining wetland ecosystems in Southern California.

We love South Bay Wildlife Rehab
Rehabilitating wildlife throughout Southern California

Check out these interesting happenings.

Jason KellerJason Keller
The Green PrizeOn April 30th from 11AM to 7PM at Admiral Kidd Park there will be eco-friendly food booths, great music, and plenty of local non- profits and governmental agencies with tips about how to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.

On Thursday, April 21st, the Aquarium of the Pacific hosts Jason Keller who will be talking about "Exploring Blue Carbon in Southern California Salt Marshes."
The term "blue carbon" refers to the massive amount of carbon stored in the vegetation and soils of many coastal ecosystems, including the salt marshes of Southern California. Jason Keller will discuss the need to better understand and quantify this coastal blue carbon, which may have value in emerging carbon markets and could be used to support wetland restoration and conservation efforts. He will share results from projects exploring the ecology of blue carbon in Southern California salt marsh ecosystems. Keller is an associate professor of life and environmental sciences in Chapman University's Schmid College of Science and Technology.

Aquarium of the Pacific lectures are held at 7:00 p.m. Cost is $5 for public; FREE for Aquarium members, seniors age 62 and up, teachers, and students with valid ID and advanced reservations.

The Aquarium's Guest Speaker Series invites a broad spectrum of experts in the fields of science, marine biology, oceanography, conservation, and government, as well as artists, photographers, authors, and explorers to the Aquarium to share their experiences with the public. Lecture attendees have the opportunity to hear directly from these experts and ask them questions, receiving up-to-date information and learning about the latest discoveries relating to the speaker's topic.
Each presentation is broadcast live on the Aquarium's website.

The Green Prize Festival is Long Beach's biggest Earth Day event and this year's is no exception.
On April 30th from 11AM to 7PM at Admiral Kidd Park there will be eco-friendly food booths, great music, and plenty of local non- profits and governmental agencies with tips about how to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. At the Green Prize Festival you will learn what the important environmental issues are in Long Beach and how you can get involved, as well as participate in a home brew competition. Sounds interesting, important, and fun, don't you think? We, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust will be there, and we are excited that partnering with us will be a representative from South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR). These fine folks rescue, rehab, and release raptors from throughout the Southern California area. But some birds are too injured to ever be released in the wild and become educational ambassadors for SBWR. We are thrilled that CC the Peregrine falcon will be joining us at our booth. So stop by and check us out. Not only will you learn the latest news regarding Los Cerritos Wetlands but you will get to meet, up close and personal, one of the kinds of raptors that rely on Los Cerritos Wetlands for food and shelter. More information can be found on the Green Prize Festival facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Sierra Club, Long Beach's upcoming meeting will be about the "Past, Present and Future of the Los Angeles River."
Wednesday, May 4, 7:30-9pm
Environmental Services Bureau, 2929 E Willow St, Long Beach, CA.
Long Beach has a special relationship with the Los Angeles River, as the mouth of the River and its last 10 miles are within the City of Long Beach's boundaries. William Preston Bowling, Special Projects Manager with the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR), has spent over a decade working to bring attention to the Los Angeles River, which many view as little more than a concrete-lined flood control channel. Mr. Preston will show the beauty and potential the Los Angeles River holds, and discuss what FOLAR is doing to help restore it.

 

Our upcoming nature walk will focus on the sea turtles of the San Gabriel River. Join us and check them out!

Turtle Trek Nature Walk Los Cerritos Wetlands

On Saturday, May 7th, we will be hosting a nature walk featuring the charismatic green sea turtles of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Our walk will begin with a brief orientation to our wetlands. We will view and discuss the Zedler marsh eco-system while keeping an eye out for local green sea turtles and other wildlife. Part of our walk will take us through the Signal Hill Petroleum oil operations where we will talk about the history of oil operations and their impact on the wetlands. We will wrap up our walk by hiking along Calloway marsh, walking past city-owned wetlands and view the Pumpkin Patch portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

What: Turtle Trek nature walk of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

When: Saturday, May 7th, 2016, from 8:00AM until 10:00AM

Parking lot gate will open at 7:45AM and close at 8:10AM. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00AM

WHERE: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes are required, and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Check out this flyer for further details.

RSVP: elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

After our Saturday wetlands nature walks there are always community based restoration activities on Los Cerritos Wetlands. Often at Zedler Marsh.

Time lapsed video of restoration at Zedler Marsh Time lapsed video of restoration at Zedler Marsh.

Joining a wetlands restoration event is a great way to directly improve Los Cerritos Wetlands. No experience necessary. For details about how to participate contact iwanttohelp@tidalinfluence.com.

 

Like Save Los Cerritos Wetlands On Facebook

Some savvy folks who care about Los Cerritos Wetlands have created a Facebook profile. If you are a Facebook fan and a Los Cerritos Wetlands fan, please like us at Save Los Cerritos Wetlands.

 

Annual Meeting: Tuesday, March 29 at 7:00pm

Watershed Conservation Authority
Johnathan PerishoLooking forward to hearing Johnathan Perisho, from the Watershed Conservation Authority.

Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,

We are excited about our annual member meeting, Tuesday, March 29, 2016. If you are a member, please attend so you can hear from and vote for the candidates for our Board of Directors. But member or not, you should attend the meeting because it will feature a really interesting speaker, Johnathan Perisho, Project Manager at the Watershed Conservation Authority.

Mr. Perisho will be speaking about the Gateway Greening Plan, a visionary Urban Greening Master Plan for the Gateway Cities and Lower Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. The Urban Greening Plan seeks to expand, develop, and enhance greenways, parks, and open space, both along our river corridors and throughout our urban communities. Incorporating existing plans and public input, the Urban Greening Plan will identify opportunities for parks, trails, bikeways, water conservation and capture, living streets, tree cover, habitat, and interpretation and wayfinding within 26 cities and unincorporated areas that make up the Gateway Cities in the central and lower L.A. basin.

WHAT: Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust Annual Membership Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29th, 2016, at 7:00PM

WHO: Johnathan Perisho, Project Manager at the Watershed Conservation Authority; also candidates for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust Board of Directors

WHERE: Kettering Elementary School
550 Silvera Ave. Long Beach, CA 90803

For more information or to rsvp, contact Elizabeth Lambe at elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org.

 

 

 

It's spring! Celebrate the season by attending our upcoming nature walk.

Marketplace MarshThe Marketplace Marsh has some fascinating features, like this large freshwater marsh area.

Spring is in the air, and it is time to get outside and celebrate all that is fresh and new in our local wetlands. This Saturday join us and our partners, biologists and environmental educators from Tidal Influence, on a wonderful hike of Los Cerritos Wetlands. Guides will lead us on a walking tour that will take us to Marketplace Marsh on the City of Long Beach's wetlands parcel and over to the San Gabriel River on property held by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority.

We will likely come across great blue herons, which measure up to 4 feet tall. Their wing spans are huge, 5.5 to 6.5 feet. During this 2-mile urban hike, you will learn about the history of land acquisitions in Los Cerritos Wetlands, and leaders will show us some freshwater marsh habitats that few people have ever viewed. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at how wetlands and oil operations co-exist at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHAT: Heron Hike of the Marketplace Marsh at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHEN: Saturday, April 2nd, 2016, at 8:00AM.

Parking lot gate will open at 7:45AM and close at 8:10AM. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00AM

WHERE: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes are required, and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Check out this flyer for further details.

RSVP: elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

 

Earth Day is coming up and we need help spreading the word about Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Earth Day Festival AttendeeAn Earth Day festival attendee signing up for more information about Los Cerritos Wetlands. Photo: Arthur Bohlmann C.P.M.
Earth Day Festival AttendeesEarth Day Festival attendees learning about Los Cerritos Wetlands. Photo: Arthur Bohlmann C.P.M.

We love Earth Day. It is the time of year when people all over the world come together to celebrate

An Earth Day festival attendee signing up for more information about Los Cerritos Wetlands. Photo: Arthur Bohlmann C.P.M.

Mother Earth and pledge to defend her. One way of celebrating is through local festivals and events, and the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust is excited that we have been invited to so many of them. We gladly bring along our information table and educational materials that help explain the value of Los Cerritos Wetlands and the importance of protecting them. Sometimes we are lucky enough to share a table with our partners and friends from South Bay Wildlife Rehab who join us with their compelling raptors.

This April is no exception; we have been invited to "table" at several interesting, and what are sure to be well-attended, Earth Day festivals; and we could use your help. Can you please volunteer a few hours to help staff our information table? It's fun and easy, and we always pair a "newbie" with an experienced volunteer tabler.

We know we will need help on Saturday, April 16th at the Childrens Day Festival and also on Saturday, April 30th at the Green Prize Festival, and at other events too; so if you have a few hours to help, can you let me know? All volunteers get a free Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust t-shirt and are trained by our veteran tabler, Ann Denison.

Earth Day Festival attendees learning about Los Cerritos Wetlands. Photo: Arthur Bohlmann C.P.M.

Send me an email if you think you can help, and I will be back in touch with further details. My email address is elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

SEADIP updating is entering a new phase. Learn further details at the upcoming workshop.

 

There has been a process to update the zoning for the area known as SEADIP. And that process and its outcome is important to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust because a major portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands is contained within the SEAIP area. As far as the wetlands go, we are feeling pretty good. There was some talk at one point about extending Studebaker road through Los Cerritos Wetlands (an environmentally devastating idea) but that seems to be gone now. Nevertheless, with an additional 5,000+ residential units until build-out in 2035 proposed for the area, we remain concerned that roads through wetlands will once again be proposed as a way to alleviate traffic. Given that the traffic level at the intersection of 2nd and PCH has been measured at levels of "F" during rush hour, I can only imagine how the intersection will be impacted as development, both residential and commercial, increases. Perhaps the results of the SEADIP traffic study will be available at the upcoming meeting to help answer that quesstion.

Below is a map that summarizes the changes proposed for the SEADIP area.

SEADIP Land Use Plan Map
The Community Open House will be Saturday, March 26, 2016, at the Best Western Golden Sails Hotel, Seafarer Room, 6285 E. Pacific Coast Highway. Open House hours are from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (I'm going to get there at 11:00AM and hope you will too). According to the City's email about the meeting, you will be able to meet one-on-one with the project team to learn about the components of the Draft Specific Plan; how the Plan will implement the community's vision, and ways to stay involved with the project.

See you this Saturday, at the meeting, I hope!

Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

 

The scene at the Coastal Commission continues to be amazing.

Coastal Commission StaffI am still pretty sad that the Coastal Commission voted to fire their Executive Director, a guy with over 20 years experience working at that agency, someone who devoted his entire life to coastal protection and enforcing the California Coastal Act. But it happened. The environmental community lost. So what are the next steps? Well, that is a good question, but don't look to the Coastal Commissioners to supply any answers anytime soon. How do I know? I attended the most recent Coastal Commission meeting to find out and also to support our coalition partners (Surfrider Foundation, The City Project, Azul and many more) who are calling for greater accountability and transparency when it comes to how the Coastal Commission comports itself. There was a pre-meeting press conference to call for those simple, straightforward and useful ideas that I was happy to be a part of, but it was when the Coastal Commission convened that things really started to get interesting.

I learned that there are plenty of people besides me that remain frustrated about the unjust dismissal of a loyal public servant and those people had plenty they wanted to to say to the Commissioners, not only during public comments but also during the agenda item about moving forward to identify and hire a new Executive Director. At the meeting the Commission voted to have the Deputy Director of the Coastal Commission, Jack Ainsworth, step in as interim director while they put into place a mechanism to replace their former Executive Director. But how long exactly is that going to take? The Commissioners didn't seem to have answers, except that it will likely take a long time and be expensive.

Please take a moment to read Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez's take on the matter. It is
worth your time, I promise. Mr. Lopez describes the meeting as a "circus" and, indeed, it was. He does a good job of summing up what it was like to be in the room during that Coastal Commission
meeting but also highlights the overall problem of such a powerful agency having so little accountability when it comes to communication with lobbyists, the problem of lobbyists hosting fundraisers for Coastal Commissioners and the general lack of transparency about the relationship between lobbyists and the Commisioners. There is some proposed legislation to deal with the problem; and I sure hope it goes somewhere, but in the meantime check out what Steve Lopez has to say. And then, if you want to watch some seriously interesting reality television check out, in real time, what transpired at the last Coastal Commission meeting when the frustrated public got a chance to talk directly to the Coastal Commissioners, and how they reacted. It isn't pretty.

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands via Kayak or Nature Walk

Kayaking Steamshovel SloughKayaking Steamshovel Slough with us is a great way to get to know Los Cerritos Wetlands.

We will be kayaking Los Cerritos Wetlands on Sunday, February 21st, 2016, from 9:00AM until noon. It is a super fun and super cool way to check out the Steamshovel Slough portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands, an area that is currently only available to the public via kayak.

To reserve a spot, send an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org
or call 714-357-8576. Cost per person to attend the trip is $13.00 cash, to be paid directly to the Leeway Sailing Center, which is where we meet for the trip. Minimum age is 16, and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Kayaking is a great way to celebrate the ending of the winter months and the beginning of spring! For further inspiration, check out some of the cool kayaking photos from a previous trip.

Wetlands Nature WalkAttend our wetlands nature walk on Saturday, March 5th and check out the elusive Belding's Savannah Sparrow.

On Saturday, March 5th at 8:00AM, we will be leading my most favorite walk on Los Cerritos Wetlands, the walk on the Hellman property. It's our most "in nature" walk where participants can enjoy a corner of Long Beach that is truly unique. Not only will you get a chance to check out a rare Belding's Savannah Sparrow (there are just a few thousand of them left in the world), but you will also learn about the native people who dwelt upon our local lands many years ago, how they lived and the role local plants and animals played in their survival. For more information or to rsvp, please email elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org.

 

 


 

Yesterday was a tough day.

Coastal Commission Hearing Room

The Coastal Commission hearing room in Morro Bay was overflowing!


Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,

I'm not going to sugar coat it. Yesterday was a tough day. After a long and impassioned 12 hour hearing in open and closed session, at 9:20PM the California Coastal Commission announced it had voted to dismiss their Executive Director, Charles Lester, with a tally of 7-5. As you may know, many tens of thousands of people sent emails, signed petitions, attended the hearing, or watched it online. Their message was one of unity and support for retaining Charles Lester. But, for reasons I will never understand, it was not enough to save the job of this dedicated public servant with an honorable 20+ year record of service as a staff person for the Coastal Commission. Dr. Lester was removed from his job and we will just have to wait and see who replaces him. All of us who care about protecting and preserving California's wetlands and great coastal places are holding our breath to see what comes next.

It was quite a day yesterday at the hearing in Morro Bay, full of testimony in support of Executive Director Charles Lester from environmentalists, elected officials, opinion leaders, former Coastal Commission staff members and, yes, even one developer (who spoke about the fair treatment his company received from Coastal Commission staff).

And I am sad we did not prevail. But I will keep at it and hope you will too. Because that is the only way our fragile wetlands and important coastal places will be protected and preserved for ourselves and for future generations to enjoy.

I am also sad to report that our own local Coastal Commissioner and City Councilmember, Roberto Uranga, voted to remove Executive Director Charles Lester. I've said it before and I will say it again, Commissioner Uranga is an honorable person with an honorable record, particularly in the area of human rights. But he got this one wrong.

Onward, my friends. Now more than ever we must be vigilant and hold those accountable who seek to exploit our local wetlands and our coast. Fair warning to those who seek to put forth inappropriate and illegal development: you can be guaranteed a fight.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated from near and far in this important civic and environmental fight.

And a special shout out of thanks to longtime friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands, Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell. Not only did he sign a letter in support of retaining Director Lester, but today sent out this inspiring statement.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust


P.S. This Los Angeles Times article about yesterday's hearing does a great job of encapsulating all that happened during that grueling day. I urge you to take a read! And then take a moment to sign up for one of our wetlands nature walks or kayak trips. Details are below. It is a great way to connect with the inspiring natural world of Long Beach and beyond.

 

 

First, let me thank you.

Charles LesterCoastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester deserves to keep his job.

Not only do you care about the preservation and protection of Los Cerritos Wetlands, many of you care about all of California's fragile and important coastal places. Your standing up to defend Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester from the unfair move to fire him is nothing less than inspirational. And now it is approximately 24 hours until a decision will be made on his tenure. If you have not yet sent in your own email on this matter, please do so. Just a few words in support of an independent Coastal Commission and in favor of retaining Dr. Lester will make a difference.

You understand from my previous emails what is at stake--nothing less than the integrity and independence of California's powerful Coastal Commission. If the special interest driven move to remove Charles Lester is successful, then all Coastal Commission staff members may well feel intimidated and less able to do their job, which is to enforce the Coastal Act.

I'll be in Morro Bay this Wednesday, as part of the coalition of environmental and civil rights groups opposing Dr. Lester's dismissal. If you can join us, you really should. Details can be found on the website www.actcoastal.org. Or send me an email and I can fill you in on the details. It is so important that folks attend this hearing that those who can make this trip can get a free gas card and help with their lodging cost to make getting to Morro Bay a little easier.

But if you can't make the meeting, another option is to watch the live stream from the hearing which will be running all day during the proceedings. Because Coastal Commissioners, if they ask, can tell how many people are watching the live feed, watching is another way to hold them accountable.

A lot has been said already about this very unfortunate move by those who seek to control the Coastal Commission and limit it's integrity, so I won't keep on about it. I just want to share three things:

the impressive letter of support that the staff of the Coastal Commission sent on behalf of their boss, Dr, Lester; the moving editorial by former Assembly Leader and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante about what is stake for all of us if the Coastal Act is weakened by dismissing Charles Lester; and lastly Executive Director Charles Lester's response to the criticism against him and his solid and practical suggestions about how to address them.Coastal Commission Staff

See you in Morro Bay I hope, or if you are watching the hearing on-line (and I hope you do), I'll be sure to wave to you! Look for me. I'll be holding this sign!

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. This just in. The Los Angeles Times editorial opposing Charles Lester's dismissal. In their words "Dismissing Lester would be bad for California and inconsistent with the commission's raison d'etre - protecting the coast."
That's exactly right!

 

Would You Like to Kayak the Wetlands?

Kayak Los Cerritos WetlandsWe will be kayaking Los Cerritos Wetlands on Sunday, February 21st, 2016, from 9:00AM until noon. It is a super fun and super cool way to check out the Steamshovel Slough portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands, an area that is currently only available to the public via kayak.

To reserve a spot, send an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org
or call 714/357-8576.
Cost per person to attend the trip is $13.00 cash, to be paid directly to the Leeway Sailing Center, which is where we meet for the trip. Minimum age is 16,
and all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What a great way to celebrate the ending of the winter months and the beginning of spring! For further inspiration, check out some of the cool kayaking photos from a previous trip.

 

Update and next steps. It's important stuff!

Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,Thank You from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

I can't tell you how critical it is that we protect the Coastal Commission from the undue influence of special interests. If we don't, then how will the Coastal Commission be able to do their job? How will they be able to protect the coast so that all of us have access to it's great beaches, iconic spots and unique vistas. And that includes protection of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

That's why right now is an "all hands on deck" moment when we must all join together to fight back against the effort to fire Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester. Executive Director Lester is a thoughtful and dedicated public servant who understands his job is to enforce the Coastal Act, to allow development where it is sensible, balanced and legal, but not in a way that is damaging to our coast and fragile natural resources. And that is how it should be. Citizens voted for the Coastal Act, passed into law in 1972, so that our coast would be protected for ourselves and future generations to enjoy.

Robust enforcement of Coastal Act is frustrating to those who seek to exploit the coast. I get that. That's why they are gunning for Charles Lester. But the environmental community and environmental justice community is fighting back and, with your help, I am optimistic we will win. So far the response has been tremendous. Statewide, in just the past few weeks:

44 news stories have run. Including one in LBReport.com.

12 editorials or columns have been published including in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

35 Past Coastal Commissioners signed a letter opposing the dismissal of Executive Director Lester, including former Coastal Commissioner, and Long Beach resident, Mel Nutter.

16 Coastal Legislators are standing up for coastal protection with a letter of their own. One of those legislators is long-time Los Cerritos Wetlands supporter, Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell, who also issued this statement on the matter.

90+ Environmental and Civil Rights groups all signed on a single letter opposing Charles Lester's dismissal, including us, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust!

15 Social Justice/Civil Rights groups issued a joint statement supporting the work of Coastal Commission staff on coastal access and low-cost overnight accommodations issues.

14,000 comments regarding this matter have been received at the Coastal Commission website. Please take a minute to add your voice by clicking here. In your email please urge the Coastal Commission to protect the integrity of the Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission by rejecting this misguided and unjustified move to dismiss Charles Lester.

If you do so, then all 12 Coastal Commissioners will receive your email, including our own Long Beach Coastal Commissioner, Councilmember Roberto Uranga. So please, send your email now, supporting Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester.

The above is an amazing example of what coastal protection advocates can achieve when they all work together. But we must keep at it. Because if a Coastal Commission employee can be removed at the whim of a handful of pro-development Commissioners, then enforcement of California's powerful coastal protection law will be severely weakened. We would get in our future a more polluted, gated and damaged coastline. Is that the legacy we want to leave for our children and future generations?

Stay tuned. As I get more details I will share them with you.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. The hearing to determine the fate of Executive Director Charles Lester will be held in Morro Bay on Wednesday, February 10th. I know it is a long distance, but it is important to be there. If you can make the time to attend, there is both transportation and lodging help available. Email Elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org for further details. I'll be there on February 10th and hope you will too.

 

We are trekking for Sea Turtles this Saturday in Los Cerritos Wetlands. Join us, it's going to be great weather.

Thank You from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land TrustPacific Green sea turtles live in Los Cerritos Wetlands. Check them out for yourself this Saturday.

Hope you can join us this Saturday while we look for Pacific Green Sea Turtles who hang out in the
A Pacific Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas agassizii - Endangered Species
Pacific Green sea turtles live in Los Cerritos Wetlands. Check them out for yourself this Saturday.
San Gabriel River within Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Our walk begins with a brief orientation to our wetlands. We will walk along 2nd street to the bridge and look for sea turtles. For part of our tour we will view and discuss the Zedler marsh eco-system while keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Part of our walk will take us through the Signal Hill Petroleum oil operations where we will talk about the history of oil operations and their impact on the wetlands. We will wrap up our walk by hiking along Calloway marsh, taking the PCH bridge over to the western levee and walking past the city owned wetlands, past the Pumpkin Patch, land swap property, and campground marsh. We will complete our walk by heading back along the access to the parking.

Bring binoculars, if you have them. We will observe many different kinds of interesting wildlife

WHAT: Turtle Trek nature walk of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHEN: Saturday, February 6th, at 8:00 am sharp. Parking lot gate will open at 7:45 am and close at 8:10 am. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 9:45 am.

WHERE: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes (good treads on shoes are best after our recent rains) and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. View map.

RSVP: Email Elizabeth at ejlambe@verizon.net.

For more information or to download a hike flyer visit our website.

 

The Coastal Commission protects all of our coastline, and it is under fire.
Act by February 10

Thank You from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

 

 



Citizen activism created the Coastal Commission which helps protects fragile coastal resources like our own Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Charles LesterThanks to developer friendly special interests, Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester's job is on the line.

The California Coastal Commission is an amazing institution. It was created in 1972 by the voters of California, voters who were concerned that California's coast was being overdeveloped and exploited. The mission of the Coastal Commission is to protect and preserve California's 1,000-mile coastline, balance development on the coast, and ensure public access to California's great beaches and coastal resources. At every one of their monthly meetings, the Coastal Commission considers proposals to construct new development. It is their job to ensure development is balanced and does not block public access or harm fragile and endangered species and their habitat. The stakes are high for the future of California's coastline since land along the coast is limited and developers stand to make big money if they can develop it. So of course special interests are going to be mad when they don't get their way. And they have figured out that one way to retaliate is to push out of their way, those who stand in their way.

One of those people is Coastal Commission Executive Director Dr. Charles Lester, a tireless advocate of the California Coastal Act, who is facing removal from his post by a group of pro-development Coastal Commisioners. Those of us who advocate for coastal protection believe this is a move to undermine the integrity of the California Coastal Act, gain control over the Commission's independent staff and make the commission more friendly to developers.

Roberto UrangaContact Coastal Commissioner Roberto Uranga. Ask him to support Executive Director Charles Lester.

We can't let that happen because once those powerful special interests get hold of the Coastal Commission and get in the way of Coastal Commission staff being able to do their job, who knows where it will end? I am certain Southern California wetlands, including our own local Los Cerritos Wetlands, will be at greater risk.

There are three petitions you can sign that ask the Governor and his appointees to cease their attack on Charles Lester and what he stands for. The links to sign those petitions are below and I urge you to sign them. https://secured.surfrider.org/action/engagement?actionId=AR0002461&id=701i00000018YoU

https://www.change.org/p/california-coastal-commission-tell-the-california-coastal-commission-to-retain-dr-charles-lester

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/dont-terminate-ca-coastal.fb52?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=15043266

And then, please, do one other thing. Did you know that we have our own local Coastal Commissioner, 7th District City Councilmember Roberto Uranga, right here in Long Beach? Respected for his enduring advocacy on behalf of working people and human rights, Councilmember Uranga told me himself how important coastal access is because affordable places along the coast, where working families can spend time in nature and recreate are, in themselves, a human right. So, please, after you have signed those petitions above, I urge you to take a minute to send a quick note to Councilmember Uranga asking him to defend the Coastal Commission and reject the move to fire Charles Lester.

Coastal Commissioner Uranga can be reached at district7@longbeach.gov

There have been lots of news articles about this move to fire Coastal Commission Executive Director Charles Lester. The best ones are below and I urge you to check them out.

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-coastal-commission-20160121-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0124-lopez-coastal-commission-20160124-column.html

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-blank-coastal-commission-uproar-20160126-story.html

Thank you in advance for your help. As I learn further details, I will share them with you.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. The hearing where the fate of Charles Lester's tenure as Executive Director of the Coastal Commission will be at the Coastal Commission's next meeting in Morro Bay on February 10th. I'll be sending around details about how you can watch the hearing live, as it unfolds. Or better yet, plan to join me in Morro Bay, in person, to stand up for protecting California's coast. I know it is a long journey and far away, but the stakes are high and transportation is being arranged from Southern California for all who wish to attend. Email me at elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org and I can fill you in on the details.

 

January 20: Sierra Club 2nd District Candidates Forum

Heron Ballot BoxThe Long Beach Area Sierra Club has partnered with several other environmental groups to host a Council District 2 candidate forum on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It will focus on environmental and related health issues.

The Sierra Club advocates for air and water that is safe for us, better public transportation, renewable energy, and water and energy conservation.

Forum Schedule:
* 6:15 pm doors open
* 6:15 pm until 7:00 pm, Starbucks in the lobby will be open, and candidates are invited to mingle with forum attendees.
* 7:00 pm Dr. Jerry Schubel, President of the Aquarium of the Pacific, will give the introduction and the forum will begin.

Questions will be taken from the public at the end.

Confirmed candidates that will participate (in alphabetical order): Joen Garnica, Eric Gray and Jeannine Pearce.
Any candidates who will appear on the ballot will be invited, the City Clerk's process of qualifying candidates is still going on now.

This forum is non-partisan and is for civic engagement, not to endorse a candidate or declare a winner.

Supporting community groups include:
* Sierra Club
* Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California
* Audubon
* LB Coalition for a Safe Environment
* Green Education
* Long Beach Greens
* Long Beach Grows
* Stop Fracking Long Beach

The Aquarium of the Pacific is an accessible facility for people with disabilities. Directions and parking www.aquariumofpacific.org/visit/directions_parking
For more information, to volunteer or to join as an environmental host, please contact Gabrielle Weeks, gweeks@angeles.sierraclub.org

 

January 26: Attend meeting to help protect California's newly returned wolves

Thank You from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land TrustYou are invited to attend the Center for Biological Diversity's Long Beach presentation on wolves - "The Return of the Wolf"

California's first wild wolf family in nearly a century was confirmed last August in the most northern areas of our state. The return of wolves to California, after this species had been driven to the brink of extinction, is an inspiring story. As top-level predators much like our local coyotes, wolves play an essential role in nature. They are a part of our natural heritage, and their return to California is cause for celebration. In response to California's new wolves, the California Fish and Wildlife Department released a draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for public comment. The Plan has a strong focus on using nonlethal methods to conserve and manage wolves, but aims to remove state protections when there are only 50-75 wolves in the state.

The Center for Biological Diversity is hosting an inspiring and enlightening presentation in Long Beach to discuss the historic return of wolves to the West Coast, wolf biology, ecology and politics, and how you can be involved in a public comment meeting about California's wolf conservation and management plan. The public comment meeting will be happening Tuesday, January 26th in Long Beach.

Meeting presenter Amaroq Weiss is the Center's West Coast wolf organizer and an expert on wolves. Ms. Weiss, a biologist and former attorney, for nearly two decades has been one of the leading advocates for wolf recovery in the United States.

What: Presentation featuring Center for Biological Diversity's wolf organizer, Amaroq Weiss.
When: Monday, January 25, 2016, 7pm-8:30pm.
Where: Golden Sails Best Western Hotel, Seafarer Room - 6285 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach

The purpose of the Center for Biological Diversity's presentation is to brief the community about wolves, wolf politics and recovery in the US, and about the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's public meeting about their proposed Wolf Conservation and Management Plan which will be held the following evening, in LONG BEACH, on Tuesday, January 26th from 5:00PM-8:00PM.

That meeting will be held at the Pointe Conference Center at Cal State Long Beach. Walter Pyramid (entrance on Merriam Way) 1250 N. Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840.

For further information about either meeting or to rsvp, email Amaroq Weiss at aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org.

 

It's not too late to support your local wetlands.
Can you help?

Thank You from Los Cerritos Wetlands Land TrustA huge "thank you!" to all of our new and renewing members in 2015. We are so grateful and proud to have active, engaged members that allow us to persevere in this meaningful work.

Those eligible 2015 members that opted to receive membership premiums should watch for annual thank- you gifts to arrive in the coming days. Your partnership means so much to us, and we hope you will come along with us in 2016, too.

If you're still considering year-end charitable gifts, it's not too late to make your tax deductible donation to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust for 2015. Please help us reach our fiscal goals and support the leading local organization working to preserve, protect, restore, and explore Los Cerritos Wetlands. Our promise to our supporters is that we will steward your gifts as carefully as we do our fragile coastal wetlands. We rely on the community to help sustain these critical efforts, so thank you for considering us!

With best wishes from all of us at the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, Happy New Year!

 

First Kayaking Trip of 2016: January 24

Steamshovel Slough Kayak Trip at Los Cerritos Wetlands

Our kayaking trips to the Steamshovel Slough portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands sure have been a lot of fun, and popular too! Steamshovel Slough is one of the most pristine salt marsh areas in Southern California and a glimpse of what much of Los Cerritos Wetlands will look like once it is restored.

But don't just take my word for it. Check out what, Marianne Aguilar, President of the Eco Club at Long Beach City College had to say about her experience after attending one of our kayak trips.

"My club members and I had a wonderful time this morning on the kayak tour, I want to thank you for having us join this memorable experience. I look forward to participating in future events, and getting more club members and students from LBCC to come out and help restore the beautiful areas of Long Beach. I will keep in contact; thank you again."

Our first wetlands kayaking trip for 2016 will be Sunday, January 24th.  I urge you to reserve a spot by sending an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org.  We meet at Leeway Sailing Center at 9:00AM, and our trips always wrap up by noon.  As with our nature walks, the kayak trips are lead by naturalists from our partners over at Tidal Influence.  Cost is $13, paid directly to Leeway, which covers the cost of kayak, paddle and life-vest rental.  Sure do love the photos our colleagues from Tidal Influence took during our most recent kayak trip.  They paint a great picture of what is it like to kayak through Alamitos Bay to Steamshovel Slough and back.  Check them out.  I think they will inspire you to join us!

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands Nature Walk: January 2

Marketplace Marsh Nature Walk Los Cerritos Wetlands Land TrustMarketplace Marsh is likely full of water after recent rains.
Check it out for yourself Saturday, January 2nd

Make it your New Year's resolution to spend more time in nature in 2016. You can start this Saturday by joining us and our partners, biologists and environmental educators from Tidal Influence, on a wonderful hike at Los Cerritos Wetlands. Guides will lead us on a walking tour that will take us to Marketplace Marsh on the City of Long Beach's wetlands parcel and over to the San Gabriel River on property held by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority.

We will likely come across great blue herons, which measure up to 4 feet tall. Their wing spans are huge, 5.5 to 6.5 feet. During this 2-mile urban hike, you will learn about the history of land acquisitions in Los Cerritos Wetlands, and leaders will show us some freshwater marsh habitats that few people have ever viewed. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at how wetlands and oil operations co-exist at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHAT: Heron Hike of the Marketplace Marsh at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHEN: Saturday, January 2nd, 2016, at 8:00AM
Parking lot gate will open at 7:45AM and close at 8:10AM. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00AM

WHERE: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes are required, and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. View map. 

RSVP: elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. As always, directly after our nature walk, you can volunteer to help restore Los Cerritos Wetlands. If you are interested in volunteering, the wetlands restoration activities are from 10:30AM until 12:30PM, and are coordinated by Tidal Influence. If you have a couple of hours to help, please send an email to iwanttohelp@tidalinfluence. No experience is required, and our wetlands will benefit from your service.

 

Kayak Los Cerritos Wetlands: December 13

Kayak Trip to Steamshovel Slough with Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust
Our next wetlands kayakng trip will be Sunday, December 13th from 9:00am until noon. We will leave from the Leeway Sailing Center on Ocean Blvd. and kayak to Steamshovel Slough and back. Our trips are led by our partners from Tidal Influence and are open to anyone who is comfortable kayaking for a few hours and has a sense of adventure. No experience necessary. If you are interested, please send an email to ejlambe@verizon.net and we will send you further details.

 

Los Cerritos Wetlands Hike: December 5

SEADIP MAP

The lovely Hellman portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands

Despite all the holiday rush of activities, it's a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Join us and our partners, biologists and environmental educators from the environmental consulting firm Tidal Influence, on a wonderful hike at Los Cerritos Wetlands on Saturday, December 5th, at 8:00AM sharp. Parking lot gate will open at 7:45AM and close at 8:10AM. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00AM.

 

SEADIP MAP

A great blue heron enjoying our local wetlands. You will likely spot one if you attend our upcoming wetlands nature walk.

 

Meeting Re-cap featuring Heal the Bay

If you were unable to attend our recent community meeting, featuring Heal the Bay's Senior Policy Director Rita Kampalath, where we heard her presentation on the proposal to keep the AES cooling water pumps running in the Los Cerritos Wetlands, below is a little re-cap of our meeting and what we learned.

We learned that there are already many laws and regulations in place that deal with water pollution; also there are existing permits mandating how pollution is to be addressed. We heard how in the coming years those permits need to be enforced throughout the entire San Gabriel River Watershed. We learned that while the Alamitos AES plant pumps do, indeed, circulate water through Alamitos Bay, the circulation they offer provides limited benefits and comes at a great cost to marine life killed in the process. We heard about better solutions that reduce bacteria, trash and other pollution at its source, and do so without degrading the local marine eco-system.

New rules, recently adopted into enforceable permits, require up-stream cities to clean up pollution before it gets into the San Gabriel River, and other waterways, so that Long Beach will no longer be the unwilling recipient of all that is now dumped into its roughly 700 square mile watershed.

San Gabriel Watershed ends at Los Cerritos WetlandsThe San Gabriel River Watershed is over 700 square miles and ends at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

It was gratifying to learn what we have suspected all along. There are "win-win" scenarios for pollution abatement -- policies and plans that can and have been put into place to ensure that Long Beach residents have clean water to swim in, and at the same time support healthy and vibrant marine life populations.

Here's hoping there is partnership and collaboration in our future between water quality protection groups, local residents, boat owners and, of course, those of us who work to protect and preserve Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Our next step will be to put together a "solutions overview" that we will share with the City of Long Beach, the public, and our partner organizations. So stay tuned. Our meeting with Heal the Bay is just the first step in what we hope will be a robust and science-based discussion on how to keep Alamitos Bay and the San Gabriel River free from trash and pollution -- as well as restore and protect Los Cerritos Wetlands and the imperiled wildlife dependent on clean water.


 

Community Briefing: November 19
AES Alamitos conversion and pumps proposal

AES Alamitos pumps shutting down
 

Due to regulations that prohibit once-through cooling, AES Alamitos is shutting down their pumps that use seawater to cool its generators. These new regulations are designed to protect marine life. AES plans to build newer style generators that do not require water; therefore the pumps that bring cooling water from Alamitos Bay will no longer be used by AES.

Currently AES's pumps indiscriminately kill important marine life that makes up the web of life in the ocean and our local wetlands. The cessation of AES's cooling pumps will help restore this fragile ecosystem, which will mean more abundant and diverse wildlife in Los Cerritos Wetlands and Alamitos Bay.

The conversion of AES's generators, so that they no longer harm marine life, is a slow planning and approval process, to be sure, but an important one. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust believes the conversion must be done in a way that maximizes environmental protection for our community and for our fragile local wetlands.

However, what will be done with the pumps when AES stops using them? There are a variety of opinions about how to answer that question. It is a common assumption that the pumps play a role in keeping Alamitos Bay clean and relatively free of pollution. That might be the case, given that the pumps running at maximum capacity pull through enough seawater to replace the water in Alamitos Bay twice a day. This recirculation explains why some people have expressed support for having the City of Long Beach continue to run the pumps.

But it's not clear if the City can "repurpose" the AES pumps for pollution control when they do so much damage to the ecosystem, the reason they are being abandoned in the first place.

Furthermore, it is unclear whether the agencies regulating pollution abatement will allow the City of Long Beach to continue discharging polluted water into the San Gabriel River, another water body that is already polluted. That is because there are smarter and better ways to ensure there will be clean water in Alamitos Bay to swim and recreate in without adding to the pollution.

These other methods may take a little more time to implement, but the multiple benefits are likely to make it time well spent. Will the City of Long Beach continue running the pumps, and what approvals does it need if it decides to do that? The permitting process would be complicated, and we aren't aware of any other City that has ever proposed doing something like this. That's why we are excited to host Rita Kampalath, Science and Policy Director for Heal the Bay, as the speaker at our upcoming community briefing. There is no one better to explain water quality science and regulations, why the proposal to run the pumps is controversial, and what better alternatives exist to keep the water clean both for people and wildlife. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us this Thursday, November 19th.

What: A community briefing about the details of the AES Alamitos conversion and pumps proposal.

When: Thursday, November 19th at 7:00 p. m.

Where: Kettering Elementary School, 550 Silvera Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90803

Who: Rita Kampalath, Science and Policy Director for Heal the Bay
Ms. Kampalath has a B. S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and an M. S. and Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively, from UCLA. Prior to joining Heal the Bay, Ms. Kampalath served as an engineer at Geosyntec Consultants, where she helped manage a number of significant environmental initiatives.

To RSVP or for more information, email me at Elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org or call 714-357-8576.

Hope to see you this Thursday!

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

 

Trekking for Sea Turtles: November 7

 

On Saturday, November 7th, we will be hosting a nature walk featuring the charismatic green sea turtles of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Our walk will begin with a brief orientation to our wetlands. We will walk along Pacific Coast Highway to the bridge and look for sea turtles. For part of our tour we will view and discuss the Zedler marsh eco-system while keeping an eye out for local wildlife. Part of our walk will take us through the Signal Hill Petroleum oil operations where we will talk about the history of oil operations and their impact on the wetlands. We will wrap up our walk by hiking along Calloway marsh, taking the PCH bridge over to the western levee and walking past city-owned wetlands, past the Pumpkin Patch portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands and campground marsh

What: Turtle Trek nature walk of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

When: Saturday, November 7th, 2015, from 8:00AM until 10:00AM

Where: Meet us in the driveway at 1st street and PCH in Seal Beach. You may park in the driveway.

Download flyer for further logistical information about the walk and a map of where we meet. Closed toed shoes required, and kids under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

See you on Saturday, I hope!

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. Above is interesting and compelling footage of scientists rescuing a sea turtle from the San Gabriel River that was hampered by fishing line. Hope all you fishermen out there are careful about how you use and dispose of your fishing tools.

 

Important meeting about next steps in the SEADIP planning process. Attend and help shape the future of Southeast Long Beach.

SEADIP stands for South East Area Development and Improvement Plan map for Southeast Long Beach
I hope you have been following the SEADIP updating process. SEADIP stands for South East Area Development and Improvement Plan and is the zoning for the lands in and around Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Embedded in this decades-old zoning is language from Long Beach's own Local Coastal Program that high-density development should be concentrated downtown in order to help the south east area of our city remain low-scale and less dense to protect sensitive resource areas like Los Cerritos Wetlands.  And for years the City of Long Beach has been permitting development based on that vision.

For example on page 4 of this City authored memo...they, themselves, make the case that "dense and high-rise development along the City's coastline should be focused in the downtown area along Ocean Boulevard in order to protect the down-coast areas of the City from such development pressures in the future. This planning principle is consistent with the. . .Coastal Act because it works to protect overcrowding and overuse of the more sensitive resource areas in the eastern or down-coast coastal areas of the City while encouraging higher density in the downtown area that is better able to accommodate high volume activity."

Could that balanced vision, described above, be changing?  It sure looks like it, given that the initial study document outlines a much higher density proposal than was discussed in previous workshops and community meetings.  That's why I plan to attend the upcoming SEADIP updating scoping hearing and hope you will too. The public scoping meeting, as well as the release of the required Initial Study (IS) and Notice of Preparation (NOP), kicks off the legally required public review process for what will eventually result in a final Land Use Plan.

The SEADIP updating Scoping Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 4th, at 6:00 p.m.at the Best Western Golden Sails Hotel at 6285 Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach. The Scoping Meeting will describe the proposed SEADIP updated project, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process, the purpose of the Initial Study/Notice of Preparation and upcoming Environmental Impact Report, and offer an opportunity for members of the public and other interested parties to comment on the environmental "scope" (or breadth of topics and issues) that should be analyzed in the eventual Environmental Impact Report.

Please make plans to join me at this meeting and share your vision for the future of southeast Long Beach.  For example, if you are worried about how the proposed increased density, building heights and traffic would impact fragile wetlands and local neighborhoods, attend this meeting to help decision makers understand your concerns.

After all, whatever comes out of the SEADIP updating process will shape the future of south east Long Beach for us and for generations to come.  Let's make sure it is a plan that protects our local wetlands and the character of this unique area.

To learn more check out these interesting articles in the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Grunion Gazette.

 

We are hosting a meeting featuring an acclaimed water quality expert on November 19th.

Rita Kampalath, Science/Policy Director for Heal the Bay

There has been a lot of speculation about what will happen when the AES power plant stops using pumps that pull in sea water to cool their generators.  Because the pumps suck in and kill marine life, AES must discontinue using seawater in order to comply with new State regulations to protect ecosystems and fisheries.  But there are those who are concerned that shutting down the pumps may result in degraded water quality in Alamitos Bay.  And there may be good reason to be concerned aboutwater quality in Alamitos Bay, Los Cerritos Wetlands, and the San Gabriel River.  In fact, the City of Long Beach is considering a plan to continue running the pumps after AES abandons them to help protect water quality.  However, that plan raises new questions.

How to sort through all these concerns and come up with a plan that is good for water quality in Alamitos Bay and the San Gabriel River that also protects marine life is a complicated question.  That's why the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust is excited to host a community meeting featuring Rita Kampalath, Science and Policy Director for the well-respected water quality advocacy organization,Heal the Bay.

Ms. Kampalath is not only an expert on water quality issues but also on the laws that regulate water quality in our bays, ocean, and streams.  So mark your calendar and plan to join us on November 19thfor what is sure to be an interesting and informative evening.

What: Informational Meeting about the proposal to run AES pumps in Alamitos Bay

When:   Thursday, November 19th, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Kettering Elementary School, 550 Silvera Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90803

Who: Rita Kampalath, Science/Policy Director for Heal the Bay.

Ms. Kampalath has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively, from UCLA. Prior to joining Heal the Bay, Rita served as an engineer at Geosyntec Consultants, where she helped manage a number of significant environmental initiatives.

To RSVP or for more information, email Elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org, call 714-357-8576.

 

Fun Los Cerritos Wetlands Hike on Saturday, October 3rd


Blue Heron

With summer behind us, it's time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Join us and our partners, biologists and environmental educators from Tidal Influence, on a wonderful hike at the Los Cerritos Wetlands on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. Guides will lead us on a walking tour that will take us to Marketplace Marsh on the City of Long Beach's wetlands parcel and over to the San Gabriel River on the property held by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority.

We will likely come across great blue herons, which measure up to 4 feet tall. Their wing spans are huge, 5.5 to 6.5 feet. During this 2-mile urban hike, you will learn about the history of land acquisitions in Los Cerritos Wetlands, and leaders will show us some freshwater marsh habitats that few people have ever viewed. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at how wetlands and oil operations co-exist at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHAT: Heron Hike around the Marketplace Marsh at Los Cerritos Wetlands.
Great Blue Heron
A great blue heron enjoying our local wetlands. You will likely spot one if you attend our hike on
Saturday, October 3rd.

WHEN: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, at 8:00 am sharp! Parking lot gate will open at 7:45 am and close at 8:10 am. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00 am.

WHERE: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH in Seal Beach. There will be signs. Close-toed shoes are required, and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

RSVP: elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

 

Want to help a whale?

Help a Whale

If you support the protection and preservation of wetlands eco-systems, chances are you support protecting marine eco-systems also. A sad and inhumane disruption of the marine eco-system is the capture of orcas from the wild that are then sold to marine parks, zoos and other inappropriate places. While the United States has not been issued a permit for the taking of a wild orca since 1989, other nations perform hunts in order to capture orcas for display. And within the U.S., the problem of already captive orcas housed in marine parks, like Sea World, remains.

Interestingly, however, the future of captive orcas at Sea World will be before the Coastal Commission, when they meet in Long Beach on October 8th. The Coastal Commission will be voting whether or not to allow Sea World to expand the size of the tanks that house their whales. At that meeting the Commission could decide to condition their approval of Sea World's orca tank expansion so that the breeding and transfer of orcas will be phased out forever.

If this is an issue you would be interested in learning more about, I urge you to attend the upcoming Sea World Coastal Commission informational meeting featuring former Coastal Commissioner Sara Wan, co-founder of the Wan Conservancy, and Lindsay Larris, Regional Director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

This informational meeting will take place at 6:30PM this Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015, at Long Beach Main Library which is located at 101 Pacific Ave, next to Long Beach City Hall. Ever since the release of the movie Blackfish, more and more awareness has been building about the immorality of housing intelligent and sentient animals like whales in such harsh conditions. The Coastal Commission's meeting in Long Beach in October could put an end to that practice. Learn the details and how you can help this Tuesday evening. For more information or to rsvp, email ejlambe@me.com.

 

Final wetlands kayaking trips for 2015


Kayak

Our kayaking trips to the Steamshovel Slough portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands sure have been a lot of fun. And popular too! Steamshovel Slough is one of the most pristine salt marsh areas in Southern California and a glimpse of what much of Los Cerritos Wetlands will look like once it is restored.

Our final three wetlands kayaking trips for 2015 will be on October 11th, November 15th and December 13th. I urge you to sign up for a spot by sending an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org. We meet at Leeway Sailing Center at 9:00AM, and our trips always wrap up by noon. As with our nature walks, our kayak trips are lead by naturalists from our partners over at Tidal Influence. Cost is $13, paid directly to Leeway, which covers the cost of kayak, paddle and life-vest rental. Sure do love the photos our colleagues from Tidal Influence took during of our most recent kayak trip. They paint a great picture of what is it like to kayak through Alamitos Bay to Steamshovel Slough and back. Check them out. I think they will inspire you to join us!
The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust for Long Beach and Seal Beach is a community based nonprofit
California corporation chartered to hold land in the public interest and dedicated to acquisition,
restoration and preservation of the San Gabriel River Estuary.

 

 

Coastal Cleanup Day is this Saturday. Join in and make a difference.

Coastal Cleanup Day

Coastal Cleanup Day is an amazing event where tens of thousands of people from up and down the state of California come together to clean up our coast. In just a few short hours, with everyone working together, our coast becomes cleaner and more inviting for people and for wildlife.

I am proud to share with you that locally, Long Beach and Seal Beach have quite a few coastal cleanup sites going on, some sponsored by close partners like Friends of the Colorado Lagoon, Save our Beach, or the Algalita Foundation.

I urge you to take a few hours out of your day this Saturday and join your fellow Californians everywhere. After all, our coast is one of California's most spectacular resources. Let's help keep it that way. Details are below.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust


Friends of the Colorado Lagoon invites you to meet them this Saturday, September 19th, at 9:00AM at the Wetland and Marine Science Education Center at 5119 E. Colorado Street. They will provide the gloves, supplies and good times needed to pick up trash and debris around the lagoon. All ages welcome.

Save Our Beach will host coastal cleanups at two different locations. They will be at their regular 1st St. location, their other clean up location will be at the base of the Seal Beach Pier. Free parking is ONLY provided at the 1st St. location. Please be a part of the solution and attend this important event! You can register today at www.saveourbeach.org

The Algalita Foundation is participating in Coastal Cleanup Day alongside the El Dorado Nature Center at the Belmont Pier in Long Beach from 9am-12pm.

There are 7 locations where the City of Long of Long Beach will be hosting a coastal cleanup event this Saturday. Participating is easy. All you have to do is show up and sign in. For more information visit the City's website.

 

Proposed wetlands mitigation bank has been in the news lately.

Proposed wetlands mitigation bank has been in the news lately

The Long Beach Press Telegram recently ran a comprehensive article with the latest news about the proposed mitigation bank for portions of Los Cerritos Wetlands. As you may recall, there is a proposal for a huge swath of Los Cerritos Wetlands, currently privately owned, to be used as a mitigation bank. In other words, our local wetlands would be fixed up in order to offset environmental impacts in other areas. Once the mitigation bank is wrapped up and finished, the land owner has committed to moving the restored wetlands into the pubic trust.

One important step along the way is an agreement to a "term sheet." The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA) voted to approve the term sheet framework at their last meeting. Term sheets don't obligate either party (the land owner or the LCWA) to anything, but serve as an outline for negotiating the details of this land deal. To check out the LCWA's recent agenda item on the matter that includes the term sheet you can click here. To read the Press Telegram article click here. It's a slow but steady process, one that could result in the vast majority of Los Cerritos Wetlands owned by the public and protected forever. But there are many steps along the way, and all of us must be vigilant to be sure that the deal that is reached is best for our local wetlands.

 

City Roots Urban Nature Festival was a blast. Thank you!

City Roots Urban Nature Festival

We had a great time at City Roots Festival earlier this month. It was a beautiful Saturday night for a concert at the Colorado Lagoon, our sister wetland, and we have to say that all of our organizational partners and vendors made an exceptional effort. Our thanks to our friends, old and new, that came out in support of natural open space and to hear some great live bluegrass under the stars.

We appreciate the support of the community for this important outreach opportunity for conservation in Long Beach. A huge thanks to Friends of Colorado Lagoon, the CSULB Mobile Science Museum,Aquarium of the PacificLong Beach Folk Revival FestivalCouncilwoman Suzie PriceCongressman Alan Lowenthal, and all of our dedicated volunteers for helping to make this event possible. We hope that City Roots inspired a few newcomers to spend time in these magical vestiges of nature in the city, and to fight for them, too! Until next time. .

 

CITY ROOTS Our Urban Nature Festival and Concert is coming up soon!

City Roots
 

Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,

Don't forget that our first ever free City Roots urban nature festival and concert is this Saturday, September 5th. What a great way to spend part of your Labor Day weekend. Not only will you get to know some of the interesting groups that are working to bring nature back to our urban environment but you will get to spend time at the Colorado Lagoon, a wonderful natural area that is also a great venue for a concert.

Most people don't know that the Colorado Lagoon was once an unbroken parcel of Los Cerritos Wetlands, before urban development fragmented and divided these once-vast natural lands. So we are excited to partner with Friends of Colorado Lagoon for this fun celebration of all that urban nature offers us here in Long Beach and surrounding communities.

The music will be great, too! Our featured band will be the Salty Suites, who will start their performance at 7PM, giving attendees plenty of time to check out the hands-on exhibits, kids' activities, and local organizations promoting natural open spaces, outdoor education, recreation, natural history, wildlife, and more. Lawn and beach seating for the free concert is limited, so I urge you to arrive at 5PM to stake out your spot with your blanket or lawn chairs.

Our valued partner South Bay Wildlife Rehab will also be there with their impressive raptors, along with two mobile science and ecology museums that can be explored for no charge. For dinner you can purchase yummy choices from the Canvas Food Truck or bring your own picnic, plus Councilwoman Suzie Price's office is hosting a fun s'mores bar.

We will be gathering on the north bank of the Colorado Lagoon. Festival attendees can enter from 6th St adjacent to the golf course, or from the south bank, crossing the pedestrian bridge over the water. Free bike valet sponsored by Representative Alan Lowenthal's office for those arriving on two wheels. Sorry, dogs have to sit this one out, they aren't permitted at the Lagoon.

See you this Saturday, I hope!

Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

 

Goodies from our City Roots Sponsors

Ice Cream Ian
Aquarium of the Pacific

Thanks to their community sponsorship, we'll be happily doling out Aquarium of the Pacific tickets to lucky winners all night at City Roots Festival. We're proud of our long partnership with the aquarium and all that they do for conservation efforts in Long Beach. Please check out all of the great upcoming events the aquarium is offering this season.

What better way to send off summer than with Ice Cream Ian! He'll be joining us at City Roots to pass out *free* treats to our guests.

City Roots is also pleased to be partnering with the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival, coming back for its third year on September 19. Enjoy picturesque views on the grassy lawns of Rainbow Lagoon Park in Downtown Long Beach from 11am to 11pm while enjoying the best in Folk, Roots, Americana, & Bluegrass music acts-- over 20 bands! In addition to the great music, all the fan favorites are back including contests, amazing gourmet food & craft beers, interactive kids' area, the "Vintage Bazaar" shopping experience & much more. Tickets are on sale now. Kids 12 and under as well as Seniors 75 or older get in free. While you're there, come visit us at the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust booth!

 

Another way to enjoy nature this Saturday is by attending our walk and wetlands restoration event.

wetlands restoration event

Our "Raptor Ramble" through the now-publicly owned Hellman portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands is one of my favorite nature walks. Not only will you get a chance to check out Los Cerritos Wetlands from the Seal Beach side, but you will likely spot a Belding's Savannah Sparrow. The Belding's love to nest in the salt marsh that is found in Los Cerritos Wetlands. And with only about 2,000 pairs of these birds left in the world, to spot one is a special treat. Another special thing about this Saturday's nature walk is the opportunity you will have to learn about the native people who once lived in and near our local wetlands. Who were they? How did they live? And what happened to them? Those are some of the questions that will be answered if you join us on our walk.

WHAT: Raptor Ramble Nature Walk of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

WHEN: Saturday, September 5th, 2015, at 8:00 am sharp! Parking lot gate will open at 7:45 am and close at 8:10 am. No late-comers can be admitted for the tour, and all participants must stay for the entire tour, which will end by 10:00 am.

WHERE AND WEAR: Meet in the driveway/parking area at the corner of 1st Street and PCH n Seal Beach. There will be signs. Wear close-toed shoes; and kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information or to rsvp send an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org.

Planting a wetlands plant. P.S. After our nature walk, from 12:30 to 2:30PM volunteers will be helping to restore Los Cerritos Wetlands. You are invited to join them. Meeting place is where we gather for our nature walks. For more information about restoration opportunities within Los Cerritos Wetlands, email iwanttohelp@tidalinfluence.com.

 

Our Sierra Club friends and colleagues are hosting an electric vehicle festival.

National Drive Electric Week

Each September electric vehicle advocates, including Plug In America, Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association, host a national weekend of electric vehicle events. In Long Beach, at Houghton Park, there will be electric buses, cars, 18 wheelers, bicycles, lawn equipment and motorcycles, as well as information about all the benefits of electric propulsion. Also at the event you can check out interesting presentations, alternative fuel food trucks, and lots of fun discussions about the future of transportation.

This event is co-sponsored by Representative Alan Lowenthal, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, Senator Ricardo Lara, Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson, as well as the Sierra Club - Long Beach Group, TeslaClubLA, OC Tesla, BYD, Southern California Association of Electric Vehicles, AQMD, CARB, Audubon Society, Children's Day USA, Pedego, AGZA, Evergreene, Ameco Solar, Solar City many neighborhood associations, the Long Beach Coalition for a Safe Environment and the Long Beach Surfrider.

What: Long Beach Drive Electric Celebration

Where: Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave., Long Beach 90805

When: Saturday, September 12th, 2015, from 9:00AM until noon.

For more information check out the National Drive Electric Week webpage.