Toxins and Fighting over what to swap to a developer for South L.A. County's Largest coastal wetland slows 20 years of progress to save 175 acres
(NOTE: we covered this land swap more extensively here:
11/17/2009--L.A. Times by Louis Sahagun--Toxins found in wetlands threaten to quash land swap-- EPA requires more study of the area after tests find 2,000 times the recommended level of carcinogenic PCBs in Los Cerritos Wetlands. The deal to preserve the marsh area could founder in the meantime.
Few environmental issues in Long Beach have caused more controversy than the land swap trumpeted a year ago as a way to preserve the 175-acre core of the urban wetlands bordered by Pacific Coast Highway, Studebaker Road and Los Cerritos Channel.
Under the terms of the deal, 52 acres of city-owned land were to be traded to local developer LCW Partners, which owns the wetlands. The city then planned to sell the marsh to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority for $25 million.
But it didn't turn out that way. After a year of battles with low-income residents who complained the proposal would benefit the city's wealthier eastern half and intense scrutiny from elected officials and nearby homeowners, it was whittled down to nearly 38 acres of wetlands in return for a 12 acre downtown service yard....
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swap deal with the City of Long Beach for approximately 12.1 acres of the public service
yard for approximately 34.77 acres within the Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex south of