Wetlands Restoration Planning Meeting Tonight

Wetlands Restoration Planning Meeting Tonight

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s wetlands restoration planning workshop hosted by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority (LCWA). There was some confusion about the date and location in my previous email so I want to confirm that the workshop will be at 7:00 p.m. on March 21st (tonight) at the Community Center in Recreation Park at 4900 E. 7th St. in Long Beach.

At the workshop you will be able to give input about the plan to restore Los Cerritos Wetlands, so we hope you will attend and spread the word.

The LCWA’s consulting team, lead by Environmental Science Associates (ESA), will run the workshop where they will review the status of the planning effort and provide an overview of the steps ahead.

This next phase of the planning effort will build on the Final Conceptual Restoration Plan, which will then result in a Program Environmental Impact Report-the next step towards a comprehensive restoration framework for Los Cerritos Wetlands. Previously the LCWA identified existing opportunities and constraints for restoration, public access and interpretation. The LCWA Board of Directors adopted the final Los Cerritos Wetlands Conceptual Restoration Plan in August 2015.

Using information contained in the Final Wetlands Conceptual Restoration Plan, the comprehensive planning process will result in a restoration design for the entire Los Cerritos Wetlands complex. That alternative will be studied, and potential impacts analyzed.

What: Public Scoping Meeting for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan
Where: Community Center in Recreation Park, 4900 E 7th Street, Long Beach
When: Thursday, March 21st, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority is a joint powers authority composed of the City of Seal Beach, the City of Long Beach, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Lower Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The ESA consulting team also includes Altman Environmental Consulting and Coastal Restoration Consultants.

Hope to see you at the meeting.

Participate in Long Beach’s Climate Adaptation and Action Plan

The City of Long Beach is developing its first ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and we hope you will be a part of the process. The CAAP will help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, prepare the community for the impacts of climate change, improve quality of life, and enhance economic vitality in Long Beach. Long Beach will need to be a more sustainable and resilient city in the face of climate change impacts such as air pollution, extreme heat, drought, coastal storm surge, and sea level rise.

The CAAP will provide a framework for creating or updating policies, programs, practices, and incentives for Long Beach residents and businesses to reduce the City’s GHG footprint and ensure the community and physical assets are better protected from the impacts of climate change. Residents, business owners, students, and other community stakeholders are encouraged to get involved by providing input and sharing ideas, priorities, and solutions to help establish and achieve the City’s climate goals.

It’s good news that the City of Long Beach is preparing for climate change, and you should do your part and participate. To that end, Long Beach has prepared a climate change survey that I urge you to fill out in order to share with the City your views and concerns.

Particularly sobering, in my opinion, are the maps of sea level rise impacts on the City of Long Beach by 2100.

Thankfully, our local wetlands can help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Wetlands absorb water from high tides, which reduces the consequences of flooding. Wetlands provide food and shelter to fragile species who are already stressed by having to go longer distances to search for food, as well as lessened or displaced food sources. Also thankfully, as comprehensive restoration planning moves forward for Los Cerritos Wetlands, how to plan for and make wetlands resilient to climate change will be part of the conversation. For further details check out the Opportunities and Constraints Report of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Conceptual Restoration Plan.

Then please help the City of Long Beach by taking their Climate Action and Adaptation Plan Survey. It will take just a few minutes of your time and your participation will make a difference.

Raptor Ramble Canceled Due to Weather

Raptor Ramble Canceled Due to Weather

Today’s Raptor Ramble guided nature walk has been canceled due to rain.  We hope to see you at our next walk- save the date of Saturday, March 2.  More information coming soon to this page.  If you haven’t already, please sign up to help us protect, preserve and share the Los Cerritos Wetlands with our community.  Hit the “Action Sign Up” button to join us!

Coastal Commission: Proposed Mitigation Bank Moves Forward

Coastal Commission: Proposed Mitigation Bank Moves Forward

I’ve been to a lot of Coastal Commission meetings over the course of my career, and I’m always grateful for the oversight of the Coastal Commission, that extra layer of protection the Commission provides for protecting California’s unique and fragile coastal zone. No Coastal Commission meeting is ever the same, and that applies to last Thursday’s meeting where the Commissioners met in Newport Beach to decide the fate of the proposed wetlands mitigation bank and land swap

As those of you who receive these emails likely already know, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust supports this proposal because it provides a unique opportunity to restore our local wetlands and move them into the public trust. But that proposal comes at a price; and that price is, yes, consolidated oil drilling and more oil drilling adjacent to Los Cerritos Wetlands. We looked hard at the project, asked a lot of questions; but at the end of the day, we thought the benefits the project brought to our cause outweighed the downside. And the Coastal Commission staff thought so too; after they reviewed the project, adding 25 additional conditions, they recommended approval.

Ultimately, after a hearing that lasted over 6 hours, the Coastal Commissioners agreed with their staff recommendations (and us, Audubon, Bolsa Chica Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land) and voted 6 to 3 to approve the project. I have said it before and will say it again: those who opposed the project have legitimate and credible concerns. We understand them, and as part of our due diligence, have done our best to incorporate solutions to those concerns into our support (shorter timeline to get wells off the wetlands, extra soil remediation, and contamination monitoring). We know that didn’t go far enough to satisfy the project opponents, and we respect that.

Now we believe we need to move forward, with all of us who care about Los Cerritos Wetlands working to ensure the ultimate outcome is the best that it can be. None of us is perfect and none of us knows for sure how this will all work out. The one thing I am sure of, however, is that everyone has been working and will continue to work in good faith to protect this fragile ecosystem. And I hope that allies that found themselves on different sides of this issue will come together again in our shared advocacy, because our mutual goals of restoring our local wetlands are greater than our differences about how to get there.

Check out the final document of what was approved by the Coastal Commission, including the 25 additional conditions added by Coastal Commission staff.

Additionally, I urge you to check out coverage by the Press Telegram, LBReport, Grunion Gazette and Long Beach Post of the Coastal Commission meeting, testimony, and vote.

Upcoming Coastal Commission Hearing For Wetlands Land Transfer and Mitigation Bank

Upcoming Coastal Commission Hearing For Wetlands Land Transfer and Mitigation Bank

As you are likely aware, the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust supports the mitigation bank and land swap proposed by Beach Oil Mineral Partners (BOM).

We support this project because it includes comprehensive wetlands and habitat restoration, provides unique public access opportunities, consolidates oil operations offsite, and will transfer ownership of a substantial portion of Los Cerritos Wetlands into the public domain.

We now have an additional reason to support the project and that is the substantially shorter timeline, just agreed to, in which the wetlands will move into the public trust.

Beach Oil Mineral (BOM) the project proponents, have agreed to the Coastal Commission’s vision of accelerating the “project phasing timeline”. That means that instead of removing 50% of their wetlands oil infrastructure in 20 years and the remaining 50% in 40 years; BOM will remove 50% in 10 years and the remaining 50% in 20 years. That is a much shorter timeline in which BOM will reduce their footprint of oil operations to approximately 10 acres from their current 187 acres. We cheer the accelerated transformation of this highly degraded landscape into a restored functioning wetlands and uplands.

The Coastal Commission staff report and the conditions they are recommending to the Coastal Commissioners for their approval of the project are numerous and have been accepted and agreed upon by BOM.

We urge you to send a letter of support to the Coastal Commission for the project. If you write a support letter, I encourage you to add a couple of additional points like those we made in our letter of support to the Coastal Commission. Deadline to submit a letter to the Coastal Commission is this Friday, December 7th, by 5:00PM.

For those of you that can, I also urge you to attend the Coastal Commission hearing on December 13th in Newport Beach. It will be an important hearing, one that will shape the future of Los Cerritos Wetlands for decades to come. So please make time to join me at that meeting. It will be an interesting day; your attendance will make a big difference; and the project proponents will spring for your lunch. For more information about the meeting and the transportation arrangements, email heather@altmanenvironmental.com.

We know there are differences of opinion about this matter, and perhaps there always will be. However, it is my sincere hope that we will all operate from a place of respect for each other’s views. After all, our goals are shared.

We have a deep appreciation for all who have taken time out of their lives to advocate with us for the protection and restoration of Los Cerritos Wetlands. We have made great strides, and with your partnership and the support of the community, we will continue to do so.

Happy Thanksgiving . We are grateful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving . We are grateful for you!

We hope you have a happy Thanksgiving holiday and are able to spend time with family and friends.

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust is thankful for you and your care and concern for our local wetlands. As an organization we have come a long way from that first group of citizens who gathered in someone’s living room to begin the conversation of how they, ordinary people, could work together to advocate for the protection and preservation of Los Cerritos Wetlands. Fast forward to today where almost half our wetlands are safely in the public’s hands, and the conversation is more and more about how best to restore and rehabilitate them.

That is good news, and it is important to take the time to celebrate it.

With appreciation for your support and vision of a fully restored Los Cerritos Wetlands,

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Lambe,
Executive Director
Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust

P.S. Cooling temperatures mean the wetlands will be at their best for our upcoming walk to check out the Marketplace Marsh within Los Cerritos Wetlands.