Restoring a community wetland

Volunteers gather at the 2018 Summit restoration project at Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Each year at Restore America’s Estuaries’ National Summit, attendees arrive early to participate in a hands-on restoration project. For many of us, our day-to-day is inside the office, sorting data or writing reports. It’s nice to be reminded of why we do what we do, and to be out on the land we’re working to protect.

At the 2018 Summit, RAE partnered with Tidal Influence to organize a restoration project in the Los Cerritos Wetlands. Now classified as a “degraded wetlands”, Los Cerritos spans Long Beach and Seal Beach, covering approximately 2,400 acres. It is one of the last major salt marsh complexes left to be restored in southern California.

Los Cerritos is comprised of several wetland habitats and is home to rare animals like the Pacific green sea turtle.

Long Beach and Seal Beach, together with grassroots organizations, businesses, and locals, are working to clean up and restore their community’s wetland and prevent it from being developed. Tidal Influence is also spearheading a comprehensive restoration plan for the region.

With the goal of restoration in mind, our volunteers arrived at the wetland ready to get dirty. Many had never seen a wetland dotted with oil drills with a refinery across the water, but all were excited to lend a hand. Together we planted 230 native plants and removed 350 pounds of nonnative vegetation. A surprise coyote guest also made an appearance!

“Your support helps us to create a community around wetland preservation and will be the driving force in keeping the wetlands here and accessible for the enjoyment of generations to come.” – Tidal Influence

Thank you to our restoration project sponsors, Scotts MiracleGro Foundation and the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation, for making this day a success.

Sarina Katz is the communications & outreach manager at Restore America’s Estuaries.

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