City of Long Beach, California plans to acquire remaining Los Cerritos Wetlands

The Press-Telegram reports that city officials in City of Long Beach, California plan to acquire a large swath of the Los Cerritos Wetlands for restoration.

According to the paper, the city plans to acquire the degraded wetlands, which are bounded by Second Street and Pacific Coast Highway to Los Cerritos Channel and Studebaker Road, as well as a section south of Second Street behind the Long Beach Marketplace, where Studebaker dead-ends.

"Once completed, this will place the largest privately owned coastal marsh into the public trust," said Mayor Bob Foster in a prepared statement. "Los Cerritos is the final piece needed to complete more than a decade-long effort to restore Southern California’s vanishing coastal wetlands."

The Press-Telegram writes, Wetlands Authority, a joint powers group in the public trust, would purchase the 175-acre Bixby wetlands property with the eventual goal of restoring what once was a natural habitat for birds, fish and other species.  There are three adjoining parcels named for previous owners of the land, of which the Bixby wetlands is one. A 66-acre property, the so-called Bryant land, is also part of the wetlands and owned by the authority. The nearby 174-acre Hellman property is in negotiation for purchase by the authority.

The plan is to combine the three parcels for a large-scale restoration project along the lines of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.  The Los Cerritos Wetlands once spanned more than 2,400 acres and bordered what was once home to Puvungna, an ancient Tongva village

Most of the area has been developed. About 400 acres of the tidal marshes remain.