February 6, 2016
11am, Los Cerritos Wetlands
Yesterday I volunteered along with many to help restore the Los Cerritos Wetlands habitat (which is near the San Gabriel River). After a quick introduction (which I partly missed because I was a little late), our group of volunteers walked to the location. On our way there, we had to go through this oil…place. Since I was late, I didn’t get to hear the entire background info, so I wasn’t sure what this place was called. There were one or two oil derricks and a lot of pipes. The employee there said that yes, contrary to popular belief, they do have a good partnership with this oil company. It’s because this oil company does care about the environment, and because they would lose a lot of money if there was even a puddle of oil somewhere. After that, more employees explained about how 90-98% of salt marshes (which is what is in the Los Cerritos wetlands) in California have disappeared.
This made me think about the McWilliams book and the population booms in the late 1880s and 1900s. In order to attract these people, real estate agents cleared whole lands to build houses. In Hollywood, lots were sometimes cleared and then sent lumber to it to give the illusion that people were going to build their own houses on it. These influxes of people meant more land needed to be available for housing. so that included tearing down forests and getting rid of wetlands. I’m sure that these population booms, as well as expansions of cities–especially Los Angeles–contributed to the loss of salt marshes. I remember in my Design and Sustainability class about how people in the past used to invent things with the people’s interest as top priority, which can be seen as good. But now we have to face the consequences with those certain inventions that weren’t so environmentally friendly. The people who first arrived to California had dreams of giant cities, but now the people who live here want to save what little natural nature is left.