Field Notes

New Coastal Wetland Mitigation Bank Approved in Los Angeles County

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Steamshovel Slough, a 30-acre tidal marsh that represents one of the only remaining remnants of historic Los Cerritos Wetlands complex.

WRA congratulates Synergy Oil & Gas/Los Cerritos Wetlands, LLC for the approval of the first private coastal mitigation bank in southern California. The Upper Los Cerritos Wetlands Mitigation Bank is part of approximately 150 acres of active or recently decommissioned oil fields that will now be permanently protected, allowing for ecological restoration of degraded lands and waters, and enhancement of habitat for special-status species inhabitants. Once completed in 2025, the Bank will provide Waters of the U.S. and California Coastal Commission mitigation credits for permitted impacts to tidal and subtidal habitats. This effort is an important component of the restoration of the Los Cerritos Wetlands complex which encompasses approximately 500 acres in total.

The Bank was recently approved by an Interagency Review Team composed of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Coastal Commission, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

WRA finalized the entitlement phase through Bank approval and will continue to implement regulatory permitting approval, ecological restoration design, monitoring, and reporting on behalf of the Bank Sponsor. Restoration efforts throughout the property include coastal salt marshes, sloughs, and upland buffers providing for preservation and enhancement of coastal wetlands and special-status species habitat.