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Turtle Trek Guided Nature Walk

Upcoming Guided Nature Walk

Turtle Trek

When: Saturday, September 3, 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

August 18: SEASP (formerly SEADIP) will be reviewed by the Planning Commission

SEASP (formerly SEADIP) Planning Commission Review of Environmental Impact Report for lands around Los Cerritos Wetlands

It is really getting down to the wire. The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the plan update has been released, and proposed zoning changes for the lands in and around Los Cerritos Wetlands continue to move forward.

On Thursday, August 18th, 2016, the City of Long Beach Planning Commission will hold a study session to learn more about the SEASP EIR and the associated plan. The public is invited to attend this meeting and the Commission will be taking public testimony that becomes part of the public record. The meeting begins at 5:00 PM at the Long Beach Civic Center, 333 West Ocean Boulevard.

The Land Trust has been busy analyzing the EIR and the potential impacts to Los Cerritos Wetlands that could be the result of the proposed taller buildings and more dense development footprint. It is important, with the vast majority of Southern California wetlands lost forever, that those that remain, and the fragile species that depend on them be forever protected and defended. We are also concerned about the potential for Shopkeeper Road to be extended through Los Cerritos Wetlands.

We will be sure to share our review with you and, of course, the City of Long Beach. In the meantime please plan to attend this special Planning Commission workshop, learn further details, and share your views.

 

August 21: Kayaking Steamshovel Slough

Kayak Los Cerritos Wetlands

Our next wetlands kayaking trip will be on Sunday, August 21st, 2016, at 9:00AM.
Kayaking is a fun way to get to see some of the most pristine portions of Los Cerritos Wetlands, specifically Steamshovel Slough. You have be in good enough shape to paddle a few miles to Steamshovel Slough and back and you have to be able to swim, but we paddle slowly and the trip is led by trained kayakers and naturalists from our partners over at Tidal Influence. If you are interested in joining the kayak trip, send an email to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org and I will get back to you with further details.

 

September 6: Landscapes in Transition
A community reception and panel discussion

Landscapes in Transition

LANDSCAPES IN TRANSITION:
Urban Nature as a Centerpiece for Climate Resiliency
A free community reception and panel discussion

On Tuesday, September 6th, we invite you to join us for a reception and special panel presentation to examine how Los Cerritos Wetlands and other regional landscapes fit into the imperative global discussion about climate resilience.

We welcome our supporters, friends, and community allies to join us at no cost for this fun and informative event at the lovely, open air Garden Pavillion located at El Dorado Park Golf Course. Complimentary food will be provided from 5:00 - 5:45 and cocktails available for purchase. Panel discussion begins at 5:45. Online registration is recommended to reserve your seat.

Charting a path to meet 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, Californian cities are leading the way to a sustainable future. Throughout the greater Long Beach area, there are numerous urban-natural landscapes supporting strategies to stay on course to meet emission reductions goals and be more climate resilient. These projects include our own Los Cerritos Wetlands.

"Landscapes in Transition" will be moderated by our good friend Terry Watt, prominent environmental planning consultant. Our respected panelists include Michael McCormick from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, as well as restoration ecologist and Tidal Influence Principal Eric Zahn, and local wetlands ecologist David Cannon. These influential experts in their fields will talk about the many policy changes underway, incentives to local communities to think innovatively about the future, and how the case study of Los Cerritos Wetlands, truly a landscape in transition, relates to climate resiliency efforts throughout the state.

Please join us! All are welcome at this compelling public event.

What: Landscapes in Transition: Urban Nature as a Centerpiece for Climate Resiliency

Where: El Dorado Park Golf Course Garden Pavilion, 2400 N Studebaker Rd, Long Beach, CA 90815

When: Tuesday, September 6th, 5:00 - 7:30; Complimentary food 5:00 - 5:45, full bar available for purchase; Panel discussion begins at 5:45.

To RSVP: Please register to reserve your seat here.

Stay tuned for updates through this event's Facebook page.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lambe
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

 

Summer Fun

Summer Science Shack Celebration from Friends of Colorado Lagoon and the Port of Long Beach

Did you know that historically the Los Cerritos Wetlands was a vast wetlands complex that included what is now known as the Colorado Lagoon? Things have changed since then as development and infill have shaped our coastal waterways. But one thing remains the same, and that is that the Colorado Lagoon is a special spot. And, like Los Cerritos Wetlands, thanks to the support of
concerned citizens, it has become a thriving community and natural resource. That is worth celebrating, so please mark your calendar and plan to attend the Friends of the Colorado Lagoon's "Summer Science Shack Celebration". Looks like a fun event for adults and kids, alike. Details can be found on the Friends of the Colorado Lagoon Facebook page. See you on August 13th!

Summer Gathering Long Beach

Another fun event, also on August 13th is the Building Healthy Communites Summer Gathering at Martin Luther King Park. We'll be there along with our friends, South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR), who rehabilite and, when possible, release raptors and other animals back into the wild. The raptors that SBWR bring with them to our tabling events are great wetlands ambassadors and always draw a large crowd of kids and their parents, eager to learn more about these fascinating creatures. Of course, a healthy community is one that provides access to natural wonders, like Los Cerritos Wetlands. Often, those who live in the most urban parts of Long Beach do not have easy access to experience and learn about the natural world. Tabling with raptors who depend on our local wetlands, as well as field trips for kids and adults as part of Long Beach's BeSAFE (Summer Activities in a Friendly Environment) program are just a few ways the Land Trust helps to rectify that problem. After all, our youth are the next generation of stewards of the environment. And in order to be good environmental stewards, children need to learn about and experience nearby wild areas like Los Cerritos Wetlands.

 

August 9: California Energy Commission Workshop Regarding the AES Power Plant Conversion

California Energy Commission Workshop regarding AES Power Plant Conversion

The California Energy Commission (CEC) will be hosting a Preliminary Staff Assessment Workshop on Tuesday August 9th. During the workshop, the CEC will discuss elements of the proposal to build a new power plant on the AES site--from air quality to noise to traffic to power reliability, and more. AES, representatives from the City, and members of the public will also be on hand to comment.

The existing power plant will soon be decommissioned, and AES is proposing to build a new power plant in its place. As your fierce defender of Long Beach wetlands, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust has been very involved in reviewing that proposal, both at the CEC and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The two agencies have very different roles.

The CPUC determines if there is need for the project and if the price we will pay is reasonable. Due to California's fully embracing renewable energy and the vast improvements in energy efficiency over the past few years, the Land Trust is convinced that keeping the AES plant running is not necessary and believes there are better ideas for utilizing the land adjacent to our wetlands, perhaps even expanding the footprint of Los Cerritos Wetlands, for example.

The CEC does not tackle the need for the project but instead assesses alternatives to the proposal, the comparable adverse impacts, and the best option to minimize and mitigate environmental damages that the retrofit and continued running of the AES plant would create. And they have to consider the impacts in the context of all the other proposed developments nearby.

The potential for excess traffic, noise, nighttime lighting, dust, air pollutants, and more not only impacts our wetlands, but nearby communities as well.

There is a lot to be looked at, and that is why the Land Trust is so pleased to be working with wetlands experts, environmental experts, and coastal power plant siting experts on this process. As we analyze what was produced by CEC staff on the project,we will share it with you. In the meantime we hope you will attend the upcoming CEC workshop to learn more about this important project, as well as contribute your concerns and comments.

What: CEC Preliminary Staff Assessment Workshop regarding the proposed AES power plant conversion.

Where: Best Western Golden Sails Hotel, 6285 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach CA 90803

When: Tuesday, August 9th at 1:00PM

According to the CEC website, the meeting agenda will include the topics of Noise & Vibration, Compliance, Land Use, Socioeconomics, Visual Resources, Traffic and Transportation, Air Quality, Cultural Resources and Biology.

Hope to see you at the meeting. It will be an important one.

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

 

We appeal this questionable deal.

California Energy Commission AES Power Plant Conversion

Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust is your on-the-ground, 24/7 wetlands protection advocacy group. Our sole mission is the protection and preservation of Los Cerritos Wetlands. Therefore when new opportunities to expand or improve our local wetlands come our way, we embrace them.

That is why the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (LCWLT) is joining Powers Engineering to appeal the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decision allowing AES to construct major new gas-fired generators in Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and the Southern California region. The appeal petition was in the 2nd District of the State Court of Appeal in Los Angeles.

After careful consideration and public outreach, our Board of Directors found new power plants are not necessary and would continue the decades-old degradation of the wetlands.

Investments in energy efficiency, solar and other renewable energy, and energy storage is the path to ensure grid reliability in the Los Angeles Basin without gas plants, new or remodeled. According to Bill Powers, "This is a critical moment for California if we are to achieve the goal of eliminating greenhouse gases and other emissions from power generation and make the transition to renewable energy."

Locally, transitioning to renewable energy will allow greater opportunities to restore what's left of a rare and precious coastal wetlands destroyed during a time when we didn't recognize the value of these delicate ecosystems. That is our mission.

Over 95% of California's coastal wetlands have been lost due to over-development.
Coastal wetlands in California were dredged and filled in the past because people considered them a nuisance or a wasted opportunity for development. Nowadays, we know that wetlands provide invaluable services of pollution abatement, wildlife habitat, fish nurseries, flood control and sea level rise protection.

Energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and storage are not just the preference of LCWLT & Powers Engineering. To meet new needs state law and CPUC policy mandate a "loading order," prioritizing clean energy alternatives, such as LED lightbulbs and rooftop solar, over gas-fired sources; yet the CPUC continues to undermine this mandate by approving lots of new gas plant capacity and then, as a form of window dressing, adding a bit of clean energy.

The goal of our appeal petition is to protect and restore our local wetlands and challenge this status quo mentality at the CPUC. After all, with California leading the way when it comes to renewables, and reforms on the way at the CPUC, let's make sure we produce energy in a way that is smarter, greener and protects our local wetlands.

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

 

July 6: Public Meeting of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority

Special Public Meeting for the purpose of presenting a study session for the Los Cerritos Wetlands, LLC Land Transfer/Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration and Oil Consolidation Project.

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA) will be holding a Special Public Meeting for the purpose of presenting a study session for the Los Cerritos Wetlands, LLC Land Transfer/Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration and Oil Consolidation Project. This is part of the process for moving forward the idea of a mitigation bank on the privately owned portions of Los Cerritos Wetlands. That land is currently owned by Synergy Oil and contains degraded wetlands as well as the pristine Steamshovel Slough. The owner of that property tells us that once the mitigation bank is complete, he intends to transfer that land into the public trust, which we think is a great idea. Furthermore, we are told that part of the process will include the consolidation of their oil drilling operations, which we also hope will help in the overall health of Los Cerritos Wetlands. But the devil is in the details and there will be more details at the study session. So I hope we will see you there.

WHAT: Public Meeting of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 11:30am

WHERE: City of Seal Beach; Fire Station #48, Community Room,
3131 North Gate Road
Seal Beach, CA 90740

What will be studied and discussed is the price and terms for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority's participation in the mitigation bank.

 

July 9: Awakening the Dreamer Symposium,
A Climate Change Event

Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, A Climate Change Event

Green Long Beach, in coalition with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust (and others) invites you to this important climate change event which will be on Saturday, July 9, 2016, from 2-6 PM. This Awakening the Dreamer event is sponsored by Pachamama Alliance. You can check out their website at www.Pachamama.org.

Awakening the Dreamer is a four-hour facilitated symposium that brings together community organizations, social justice groups, environmental activists and interested citizens for an interactive, multimedia dialogue on climate change and what we in Long Beach can do to address the issue and make a difference.

Green Long Beach plans to use this kick-off event as a call to action for future Long Beach community building actions. The symposium will be held on July 9, 2016, at the EXPO Center, 4321 Atlantic Avenue in Bixby Knolls. Please register for free tickets to the event here:

https://iamlife.yapsody.com/

Use Facebook to spread the word!

CLIMATE. COMMUNITY. CONNECTION

https://www.facebook.com/events/811024205709057/

Questions? Contact Green Long Beach at e-mail greenlb@gocatalyst.org or phone 714-598-6074.

http://www.iamlifeproject.org/

http://www.pachamama.org/engage/awakening-the-dreamer

 

June 23: Meeting About Proposed New Zoning for the Lands In and Around Los Cerritos Wetlands

Proposed New Zoning for the Lands In and Around Los Cerritos Wetlands

Dear Friend of Los Cerritos Wetlands,

Councilmember Suzie Price will be holding her next Third District Community meeting on Thursday, June 23rd, at the Long Beach Yacht Club (6201 East Appian Way) at 5:30 PM.

For further details or to RSVP email jack.cunningham@longbeach.gov

The meeting will include an update from the Councilwoman on district and city-wide issues and reports from the Police and the Fire Departments, as well as the Marine Bureau. Also, a representative from the Department of Disaster Preparedness will be attending to hand out information on the AlertLongBeach Program.

Additionally, this meeting will feature a presentation from Christopher Koontz, who is with Long Beach Development Services. Christopher will be discussing the Southeast Area Development and Improvement Plan (SEADIP), which has now transitioned into being the Southeast Area Specific Plan (SEASP). This is a very important project that will have long-reaching impacts on future development and the future of Los Cerritos Wetlands, as well as for the Third District; so I hope you will attend to ask questions and learn more about it.

SEADIP/SEASP WEBSITE

Hope to see you there!

 

July 31: Kayak the Wetlands

Kayak Los Cerritos Wetlands

Our next kayak trip into Los Cerritos Wetlands will be Sunday, July 31st, 2016. I'll be sending around further details in a week or so; but if you are interested in joining us, please reserve your spot by sending an email to:

Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust ejlambe@verizon.net

 

 

May 11: Scoping meeting about the proposed wetlands mitigation bank

Mitigation Bank, Los Cerritos Wetlands AuthorityCourtesy Synergy Gas & Oil LTD
This satellite image provided as part of a presentation by Synergy Gas & Oil shows a site plan of the oil operator's oil field and "mitigation bank" in green along with a five-acre parcel owned by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority in turquoise and a seven-acre parcel known as the "pumpkin patch" site owned by Lyon Communities in yellow. Those two sites are where most of Synergy's oil wells are proposed to be consolidated.

Steamshovel Slough, Los Cerritos WetlandsPhoto of the Steamshovel Slough portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands. Photo: Tidal Influence

There will be a scoping meeting this Wednesday, May 11th, 2016, as part of the review process for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration and Oil Consolidation project that includes a mitigation bank proposed for the privately owned portions of Los Cerritos Wetlands. These areas of Los Cerritos Wetlands are owned by Beach Oil Minerals Partners (formerly Synergy Oil and Lyon Communities), who are in the process of setting up a mitigation bank. A mitigation bank is a system where those who impact wetlands or other sensitive habitat offsite can legally mitigate that damage by purchasing mitigation credits somewhere else, in this case on the Synergy Property, outlined in green below. The money from the sale of these mitigation credits will help fund the restoration of this major portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands.

As part of the overall plan for restoring the Synergy Oil portions of Los Cerritos Wetlands, the oil operations on that property, over time, will be removed and consolidated onto a couple of degraded wetlands areas. One is on the corner of Studebaker and Westminster, known most recently as the OTD property; the other is the area known as "Pa's Pumpkin Patch."

Not everyone supports the concept of mitigation banks and a lot can go wrong, but if all works out as promised not only will an important portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands be restored but the land owner promises to transfer that land into the public trust so it can be assured of enduring protection and be accessible for the public to (responsibly) enjoy. Thank goodness there will be a lot of public and governmental agencies overseeing the process.

Furthermore, it just so happens that within Synergy Oil's wetlands property is Steamshovel Slough, one of the most pristine parts of Los Cerritos Wetlands and probably the most undisturbed coastal salt marsh in Southern California.

If you want to check out Steamshovel Slough in person (photo at left) the best way to do so is join one of our guided kayak tours, which we host about 10 times a year. The next one is on Sunday, May 22nd and you can read about the details further down in this email.

In the meantime attend the scoping meeting to learn more about the proposed mitigation bank. The meeting will be held at 6:00PM at Kettering School on Wednesday, May 11th. You can read more about it in this recent Grunion Gazette article.

 

Thoughts about the SEADIP Draft Specific Plan

SEADIP-SEASP Draft Specific PlanThis map outlines the areas in and around Los Cerritos Wetlands that are being studied for rezoning.
Land Use Plans around Los Cerritos Wetlands

The Draft Specific Plan is available for those of you who have been following the updating process for SEADIP (now SEASP) which is the zoning for the areas in and around Los Cerritos Wetlands.

The Draft Specific Plan was released before the Draft Environmental Impact Report which I am told is unusual but not illegal.

To read the Draft Specific Plan click here.  Thanks to our partners over at Tidal Influence we were able to do a thorough review of the Draft Specific Plan and transmitted our comments to the City in the form of this memo.

Concerning to us within the Draft Specific Plan is the concept of extending Shopkeeper Road through a portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands. We went back and forth with the City about that idea a few years ago, and what was eventually adopted into the City's mobility plan was that if Shopkeeper Road was ever extended it would go through already developed (mostly parking lot) areas and not through fragile wetlands. We hope the City adheres to that plan. Buffers and building heights were some of the other areas where we shared our thoughts.

An overview of the possible new proposed heights and zoning for the area is detailed in the map below.

Stay tuned. As we learn more details, we will share them with you.

 

Would you like to kayak Los Cerritos Wetlands?

Come join us for an amazing kayaking trip to Steamshovel Slough, an unusually watery portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands. Steamshovel Slough is one of the most pristine salt marshes in all of Southern California and will give you a glimpse of what Los Cerritos Wetlands will look like once it is restored. These kayaking trips are 2 miles out and 2 miles back through much of southeast coastal Long Beach, where you will learn about the history of the land and waterways, as well as two other amazing wetlands restoration sites currently being restored.

Kayak Trip to Steamshovel Slough, Los Cerritos Wetlands

Rules for kayaking:
• You must be able to swim
• You must be in decent shape to handle 4 miles - 3 hours of kayaking (with a few breaks)
• It is recommended that you have been kayaking before, but novice kayakers are welcome to join us with the request of showing up at 8:30am for a brief kayaking lesson
• Wear proper attire for kayaking - you will get splashed (no jeans and tennis shoes)

The next kayaking trip will be held on Sunday, May 22nd and you must reserve a spot by sending an e-mail to elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org to be able to come along on the trip. We recommend reserving spots soon, as they often fill up fast.

Logistics:
• Meet at Leeway Sailing Center at the latest 9:00am (8:30am for newbies)
• We will have you back by 12pm
• Cost is $20, covering the cost of the kayak, paddle, and life-vest rental
• Your leaders will be naturalists from our partners at Tidal Influence who have been running these kayak tours for over 4 years
• RSVP soon to reserve your spot by e-mailing elizabeth@lcwlandtrust.org

 

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.

 

March 29: Annual Member Meeting

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 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.