Urban Restoration


Photo credit: Carolyn Lieberman, USFWS

Urban conservation is increasingly important to migrating birds and waterfowl because of habitat loss and fragmentation. In Long Beach, California, the Coastal Program worked with numerous government agencies, conservation organizations, and corporate partners to restore the 18-acre Colorado Lagoon. The lagoon is part of a 500-acre remnant of the Los Cerritos Wetlands, which once included over 2,400 acres of coastal wetlands.


This project also provides an excellent opportunity to educate the public about environmental stewardship. Since 2008, our staff also helped facilitate over 300 community events, including invasive species removals and native vegetation plantings, which were critical to building support for a large-scale restoration project.


Despite its urban location, Colorado Lagoon hosts native salt marsh that provides habitat for over 75 species of marine birds, including the state and federally endangered California least tern. It is also one of the first estuaries along the southern route of the Pacific Flyway where migrating birds can rest and feed after traveling through Los Angeles.

Eric Zahn of the Friends of Colorado Lagoon (FOCL) commented, "The partnership that was forged between FOCL and the USFWS Coastal Program has been so critical to the Colorado Lagoon Restoration Project. The funding allowed for FOCL to be the vanguard for restoration at Colorado Lagoon, along with restoring vital salt marsh habitat. FOCL was able to rally local citizens around the large-scale restoration project through the community-based programming."



Photo credit: Tami Heilemann, DOI

Despite its urban location, Colorado Lagoon hosts native salt marsh that provides habitat for over 75 species of marine birds, including the state and federally endangered California least tern. It is also one of the first estuaries along the southern route of the Pacific Flyway where migrating birds can rest and feed after traveling through Los Angeles.