The Wetlands


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.

A map has been prepared that shows the boundary of the wetlands (approximately 500 acres), properties within the boundary, and the surrounding urban lands. The map is in PDF format which allows you to zoom (enlarge or reduce) the image. Click here to download the map (906 kb PDF file).
The wetlands are split by the San Gabriel River. The western portion lies in the City of Long Beach, in Los Angeles County. The eastern portion is in the City of Seal Beach, in Orange County.

Currently 255.67 acres of public properties lie within the wetland boundary. 172 acres are owned by the Wetlands Authority.

  • LCWA Phase 1 consists of two properties acquired by the Wetlands Authority in 2006-7:
    • The former Bryant property (67 acres). Note that this straddles the San Gabriel River.
    • The former Edison property (5 acres).
  • LCWA Phase 2 is the former Hellman property (100 acres) acquired by the Wetlands Authority in 2010.
  • Gum Grove Park (10 acres) is owned by the City of Seal Beach. It contains a Eucalyptus tree woodland and public parking.
  • The City of Long Beach Property (33 acres) was obtained by the City of Long Beach in exchange for an 11 acre Public Service yard. It is also known as Marketplace Marsh.
  • The Los Alamitos Retarding Basin (40.67 acres) is owned by the Orange County Flood Control District which has no employees. Its duties are performed by Orange County Public Works. Stormwaters flow into the Retarding Basin and then are pumped into the San Gabriel River. When the pump station can’t keep with the maximum inflow, the excess stormflow is stored in the retarding basin until it can be discharged.
    Stormwater must be pumped because the maximum water elevation of the San Gabriel River is higher than areas, including Leisure World, that drain into the Retarding Basin.