The wetlands in the Los Cerritos Complex have been sought by public agencies and environmentalists for habitat conservation for over 20 years. Since this site is one of the few remaining opportunities in southern California for restoration of estuarine habitat, the acquisition of these properties is a top priority regionally.
The properties proposed for acquisition and restoration total approximately 500 acres, straddle the Counties of Los Angeles and Orange, and include portions of the Cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. Click here to download a map of the wetlands area.
One obstacle to completing these acquisitions had been the need for an entity that can take title to the property and manage it while it is being restored. No single local entity had jurisdiction over the entire historic wetland complex, and no entity had been willing to take on ownership and management of all of these properties during the restoration phase.
In February 2006 a joint powers agreement was adopted by the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, State Coastal Conservancy, City of Long Beach, and the City of Seal Beach. The agreement established the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority. The purpose of the Authority is to provide for a comprehensive program of acquisition, protection, conservation, restoration, maintenance and operation and environmental enhancement of the Los Cerritos Wetlands area consistent with the goals of flood protection, habitat protection and restoration, and improved water supply, water quality, groundwater recharge, and water conservation.
The Authority has the ability to acquire and own real property, but it does not have the power of eminent domain. A second major purpose of the Authority is to conduct restoration planning and implement that restoration.
A brochure was prepared which gives a brief description of the Wetlands Authority and the wetlands. Click here to download the 2-page PDF file which includes the following achievements:
- LCWA formed February 2006
- 66 acres of former Bryant Property acquired June 2006
- 5 acres of former Edison property acquired Fall 2007
- Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship Program adopted Fall 2009
- 100 acres of former Hellman Properties, LLC acquired Winter 2010