Orange County Branch Newsletter

November 2014


Los Cerritos Wetlands Volunteer Event

By: Rafael Contreras

The Orange County Younger Member Forum (OC YMF) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rallied together with Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship Program for another good cause.  The community-based event is focused on restoring & bringing awareness to 200 acres of wetlands currently owned by Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority and partners. ASCE volunteers gathered early Saturday morning on June 7, 2014 near Seal Beach for a Wetlands Property Land Tour and Habitat Restoration volunteer activity. Los Cerritos Wetlands’ coastal habitat straddles the border of LA & Orange counties.

The tour consisted of a nature walk along the marshes that sustain a variety of wildlife. The wetlands are home to several endangered species, including the Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. The Savannah sparrows are all-year residents of the wetlands salt marshes. The salt marshes have been severely reduced due the expansion of the urban development. The Los Cerritos Wetlands is one of the few remaining livable shelters for the California's endangered Belding’s Savannah Sparrow. The tour concluded with a walk along the waters of the wetlands coming from the mix of the San Gabriel River and the Pacific Ocean, where the group was able to watch the Pacific Green Sea Turtles swimming.

The second portion of the event consisted of the Habitat Restoration. Volunteers collected more than 20 pounds of trash that is brought in from all over the San Gabriel River Watershed. In additional to cleaning up the habitat, volunteers also took part in propagating plants by using cuttings of the plant to create a new plant that will be identical to the parent plan.  This is done to help the native California plants species to expand in the wetlands and create a new habitat for the wildlife.

The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust sponsors Land Tours and Habitat Restorations on the 1st Saturday of each month. Everyone is welcomed to come out and help conserve a gorgeous wetland and native garden right in our own backyard. For more information regarding the Los Cerritos Wetlands please visit their website at

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