The Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship Program is based on learning from hands-on experience immersed in nature. The people involved with the program are fortunate enough to be exposed to a wide range of plants and animals all of which present opportunities to learn lessons daily. Great egrets, snowy egrets, great blue herons, belding-savannah sparrows, osprey, long billed curlews, terns and more fly, nest on-site and expose viewers to fascinating bird behavior. Osprey along with several other bird species perform a "kiting" behavior in which they fly above the water about 15-20 ft in the air and stay in one spot. When they find a fish they swoop down, they do this so fast that their feathers do not get wet. Snowy egrets have orange skinny feet that resemble worms. A fish will attempt to eat a "worm" but instead it is eaten by the egret.
Each of the plants also unveil botany and adaptation secrets and can be arguably more interesting than the animals sometimes. The most dominant species found in the salt marsh is common pickleweed (Salicornis pacifica). This plant has a remarkable adaptation to tolerate salt exposure. The succulent plant excretes all of the salt into the tip turning it red and that tip will fall off. Each plant in the Mediterranean chaparral also exhibits drought-tolerant adaptations such as leathery leaves to survive in warm weather coastal-sage scrub communities.
This is only a taste of the wealth of knowledge nature provides.