Improvements to the SEASP plan (in my opinion) might include lowering the building height and density along the "mixed
use" area along PCH between the wetlands and Alamitos Bay because 5400 new residential units and about 8600 more
people on a 86 acre block is the root of most problems with this plan, adding too much building height/density
in turn creating a very bad traffic problem impacting Seal Beach, all the way to 7th St, 2nd St/Naples & Belmont
Shore, up Studebaker Rd and the 405/22/605 freeways, in turn exceeding air quality standards, harming both the sensitive
wetlands AND PEOPLE! Bird safe glass all the way to the bottom floors of buildings, plenty of space between buildings
for bird flight, a lights out program at night to avoid night light impacts to the wetlands all would be good inclusions to
the plans. No loss of wetlands, no road extensions thru wetlands. Include native trees! Drive down 183rd
to Shoemaker Rd by Cerritos Towne Center to see a very nice "urban tree" design actually hiding buildings (the thumbnail
pic to the left is from Google street view)--how nice would that design be as a gateway to our city?
see a paper on the benefits of urban street trees at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/22_benefits_208084_7.pdf -- another concerned citizen sent this to the city as their public comment. Personally
I do want improvement to the area, but environmentally friendly improvement, as I'm sure do many others :)
Short film below "The Lost Jewel of the
Coast, Los Cerritos Wetlands",
dated back in the 90's, much of it was
filmed in our pristine marsh pictured at the left.
Synergy Wetlands Restoration & Oil Consolidation July 6th, 2016 SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING
Nice turnout for the meeting, thanks to the LCWA and all those who attended!
This meeting related to #3 under "Current Issues" on this page, see below.
It was announced at the end of this meeting, at the next LCWA meeting on August
4th 2016 Synergy's Hydrology Study for the wetlands restoration will be presented. The official LCWA August 4th
meeting information is found at http://intoloscerritoswetlands.org/lcwa-board-meetings/
Agenda, meeting details and copy of the slide
show Erick Zahn presented can be found at
"Mixed Use Area" Bldg Clustering--Click pic to enlarge
bird safety concerns:
SEASP map to the left shows the area of concern. The red is the 86 acre "mixed use" allowing 3 to 7 story
high buildings including approximately 5400 new residential units & about 8600 more people. The red "mixed
use" area stretches from PCH at the San Gabriel River almost to Loynes Dr., this includes the Mimi's shopping center,
Marketplace, 2nd & PCH Seaport Marina Hotel and Marina Pacifica. This proposed density also is a concern for
severe traffic jams, bad air quality and pollution harmful to not only birds & wetlands but people too.
The green on
the map is Los Cerritos Wetlands, the pale blue in the lower left corner is Alamitos Bay.
Notice how the red "mixed use" area sits right between
the wetlands and bay--this is a bird flight pattern, many species use both the wetlands and the bay, flying back and
forth at times. SEASP also allows building up to 100 feet from the wetlands or exceptions
could be made for only 25 feet from the wetlands. This presents a building glass strike
hazard for birds, both during the day and from building lighting at night.
Millions of birds die each year from
striking glass. Bird safe glass only lessens strike kills and therefore should not be used
as "a reason to be ok" to build taller but the best bird safe glass should be used on all buildings
(no matter the height) all the way to the ground floor (especially since this proposed denser development is
next to the wetlands)--this is a good one to include in SEASP comment letters. Not all
bird safe building glass types or "bird safe treatments" are highly rated or effective, what type is used matters. Audubon
has a lot of good info on this topic, click the article title links below.
re-zoning and development plan for Southeast Long Beach, including Los Cerritos Wetlands and new development around the edges
of the wetlands. The draft environmental impact report (DEIR) was just released on July 20th,
2016 and public comments on the plan will be accepted by City of Long Beach Planning until Sept 19th, 2016, see
http://www.lbds.info/seadip_update/ for more information. Download the SEASP DEIR (in sections) at http://www.lbds.info/planning/environmental_planning/environmental_reports.asp This is an opportunity for
public to participate in the future of the wetlands. This plan outlines development which could impact our wetlands and
rezoning in and around our wetlands; concerns also include a portion of our freshwater marsh could be paved over by the proposed
Shopkeeper Road extension, pollution impacts to the adjacent wetlands and bird kills on the proposed tall buildings, plus
many other concerns the public has expressed throughout the early stages of the EIR process. The report the DEIR was
based upon is at: http://www.lbds.info/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=5738
LCWA Conceptual Restoration Plan
final is available online at http://intoloscerritoswetlands.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/FinalLCWCRP-PUBLICRELEASE8-11-2015.compressed.pdf-- which will eventually become the Draft EIR which will be open for public comment, recommended to read
the report & we'll post reminders when public comment periods begin. This conceptual plan includes restoration of
the entire LCW complex, including the still privately owned Synergy Property, subject to another project, the oil operations
move & restoration, which the owner proposes a separate mitigation bank based restoration plan (see #3).
Synergy Oil's Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration and Oil Consolidation Proposed Project
The Notice of Preparation
& initial study was released and the draft study report is online at http://www.lbds.info/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=5810 -- the public comment period on this NOP phase passed on 5/27/16 but additional public comment periods will open once the
next Environment Impact Report step begins. We'll post reminders every step of the process. Recommend reading the
initial study to get an idea of the restoration proposed. However, the document is not necessarily the exact plan, the
project proponents are currently still working on the detailed restoration plans which must go through a very stringent review
process with various agencies (such as Coastal Commission, USFWS, etc.) and the CEQA EIR process which includes public
input. Concerns include impacts to the historic marsh known as "Steam Shovel Slough" as the project
removes some berm sections to let more sea water into the restoration areas. Efforts to get water from another source
(for example a new tidal inlet) unfortunately haven't been successful. John McKeown, Synergy CEO has repeatedly
said "we only have one shot at this (restoration)", he has a point as it's not often you have an oil company
working to restore a wetlands whether it benefits them or not. Hydrology changes, too much sedimentation into
the functioning historic salt marsh during restoration, high pickleweed habitat for the endangered Belding's Savannah
Sparrow is among the concerns of course, restoration can be tricky business. It will be interesting to see how this
develops. The project proponents hope to have a new restoration website online soon. Regarding sedimentation and
hydrology it is good to know the basic zones of a wetlands and the plants that grow at certain water depths and the birds,
aquatic creatures and wildlife that use these zones (see Amigos de Bolsa Chica webpage at http://www.amigosdebolsachica.org/birdsandscience.php#functions/). Stay tuned for more information, we'll post as things develop.
Issues at California Coastal Commission
in the media lately about this, concerns the current commissioners are developer friendly and don't put the coast preservation
(including wetlands) as a top priority as they have done in the past, to name a few. Ultimately, any major changes to zoning
in the coastal zone (such as in or around our wetlands) including restoration or development, are governed by the commission.
And of course a good panel of commissioners basing decisions on the laws and science is critical. Here is a good article on
the topic: https://www.kcet.org/redefine/coastal-commission-coup-could-endanger-your-public-beaches
Impact to Alamitos Bay (& Los Cerritos Wetlands) by AES Power Plant
rebuild project turning off the plant's pumps
Currently water is drawn from the back of Alamitos
Bay for once though cooling, which is to be eliminated by the rebuild. Our most pristine part of Los Cerritos Wetlands (aka
"Steam Shovel Slough") tidal inlet is at the back of Alamitos Bay off the same channel the plant pumps draw water
from. Public concerns over the effects of turning off the pumps still exist today: will the bay and wetlands benefit as sea
life will no longer be killed by the pumps or will the water become stagnant due to lack of circulation the pumps provided
in this very human altered bay? What impact will lack of circulation have on our pristine salt marsh area? Currently the City
of Long Beach is searching for a win-win solution here and many members of the public are either for or against shutting off
the pumps. This older article discusses and includes links to the AES power plant project website: http://www.gazettes.com/news/aes-starts-process-to-replace-alamitos-power-plant/article_da8a0768-8de5-11e3-8b55-0019bb2963f4.html Also see this project public document, very interesting read: http://docketpublic.energy.ca.gov/PublicDocuments/13-AFC-01/TN213768_20160923T121327_Final_Staff_Assessment.pdf -- see the following sections of this file for some interesting info: Biological Resources, section 4 (page 4.2)
and Los Cerritos Wetlands on page 4.2-5, Construction and Demolition Impacts (to plants and wildlife) begins on page 4.2-25.
Also see Section 4.3 Cultural Resources, describes the Puvunga Ceremonial Site Complex, recommended as eligible for the California
Register of Historical Resources. Cultural Resources of the entire area including Los Cerritos Wetlands begins on page
4.3-13. Interesting area history is included in CULTURAL RESOURCES APPENDIX CR-1, beginning on page 4.3-100. Long Beach
history, including the build out of S/E Long Beach (where Los Cerritos Wetlands is located) begins on page 4.3-122.
Flood history, page 4.3-129 and the San Gabriel River and channelizing begins on page 4.3-130
Please watch for our future posts
on these issues and participate in the public comment periods, public participation is critical -- and these are YOUR public
lands, you have every right to voice your opinion and concerns to the governing agencies :)
Many of the past page posts on Save Los Cerritos Wetlands Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/saveloscerritoswetlands give further details about the items outlined above. For some history please scroll back through our
page posts. And we'll post updates as information is available, along with fun facts, public tours and many pictures of
our wetlands. Thanks!
Although El Dorado Audubon conducts monthly citizen science based bird
surveys at Los Cerritos Wetlands, they also hire professional biologists or other experts such as ornathologists to
conduct bird & bird habitat surveys. These important more specialized studies are submitted in the public process
on the restoration and other projects. You can donate to help support this ongoing effort by visiting www.eldoradoaudubon.org and look for the "Donate" button--make sure to write
"For Los Cerritos Wetlands Fund" in the donation comments. Or you could send a check to El Dorado
Audubon, PO Box 90713, Long Beach CA 90809-0713 --make sure to write "Los Cerritos Wetlands Fund" on the check.
The birds & wildlife will appreciate it :)
Muted wetlands on Synergy Oil Op property, looking toward Steam Shovel Slough & Loynes Dr
Los Cerritos Wetlands is a National Audubon
Society Important bird area, included in the area defined as "Orange Coast Wetlands" which stretches from Los Cerritos
Wetlands to Santa Ana River (Banning Ranch) and Newport Bay. We are all connected. See more about the "Orange
Coast Wetlands" IBA at http://netapp.audubon.org/IBA/Site/205
Appears we have links to 2 documents
to review on the SEASP Update main page, a Hearing Draft and the actual DEIR. This page also gives info on deadlines
and where to send your public comments and can be found at www.lbds.info/seadip_update
Click the picture to enlarge
Click picture to enlarge
SEASP July 2016, document navigation tips: It’s tall, it’s big, it’s dense…and so is the DEIR the public must review and submit comments
in less than 60 days now… Below corresponds to CH (chapter) links shown in the screenshot above from the SEASP
DEIR document download web page. You may find this helpful in explaining what that long list of downloads actually
Section 1. Executive Summary Section 2. Introduction Section 3. Project Description Section 4. Environmental
Setting Section 5. Environmental Analysis Section 6. Significant Unavoidable Adverse Impacts Section
7. Alternatives to the Proposed Project Section 8. Impacts Found Not to Be Significant: Section 9. Significant
Irreversible Changes Due to the Proposed Project: Section 10. Growth-Inducing Impacts of the Project Section 11.
Organizations and Persons Consulted Section 12. Qualifications of Persons Preparing EIR Section 13. Bibliography
Appendices: The appendices for this
document contain the following supporting documents:
Appendix A: Initial Study/Notice
Appendix B: NOP Comments
Appendix C: Air Quality & GHG Modeling
Appendix D: Biological Resources
Assessment and Wetland Delineation
Appendix E: Cultural Resources
Overview and Native American Correspondence
Appendix F: Geotechnical Conditions
Appendix G: Phase 0 Site Assessment
Appendix H: Infrastructure Technical Report
Appendix I: Noise Modeling
Appendix J: Transportation Impact Analysis and VMT Memo
Appendix K: Public Services Correspondence
L: Water Supply Assessment
M: Draft Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program
SEAP DEIR navigation...
Looking through the download choices Chapter 5 of SEASP DEIR is a book in itself. I want
to know about roads, traffic impacts and impacts of any road improvements to the wetlands. So I choose
to download CH_05-16_T which is about traffic. I do a search on the word "wetlands" for example. I find quite
a few references to impacts of road improvements to the wetlands and included a few screenshots below. Not many
details in this section about the exact construction which could or will create an impact and I have no
idea where to find those details (yet), maybe that Aug 18th SEASP meeting mentioned on the top of this page will help figure
this out. One of many points of interest or concerns .... The direct link to "Traffic" is http://www.lbds.info/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=5968
Studebaker Rd & 2nd St
Click picture to enlarge
Seal Beach Blvd & 2nd St/Westminster
Click picture to enlarge
PCH & Loynes Dr.
Click picture to enlarge
Shopkeeper Rd & 2nd St
Click picture to enlarge
SEASP DEIR Ch 5 "Table of Contents"
Click picture to enlarge
** CEQA explained and how
to participate and write good Environmental Impact Report comments **
In case you missed our Facebook posts on the topic, see links and embedded posts below. Although several
environmental organizations are participating in this process, the more public comment letters from individuals the better.
You can pick any part(s) of the EIR or draft EIR that concern you, find it in the published report on the City of Long
Beach web site (linked in this page above), read what it has to say and then write a comment letter. The information
in the two links below are helpful in formulating a good letter.