Bolsa Chica Wetlands Inlet 10th Anniversary Celebration

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Huntington Beach

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Huntington Beach

Edward Pinchiff was honored to attend the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Inlet 10th Anniversary Celebration.  On August 24, 2006, a new tidal inlet was opened linking the ocean with the Bolsa Chica Lowlands Restoration Project area.  The last time ocean water flowed over those parts of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands it was 1899.  The tidal inlet reinvigorated the wetland ecosystem which serves as a fish nursery habitat and a critical stop for migrating shorebirds.

“The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are an important part of the local ecosystem and must be preserved,” said Edward Pinchiff.  “The creation of the tidal inlet was an impressive accomplishment by dedicated individuals and groups including state and federal agencies as well as local nature conservancy nonprofits, all of whom should be congratulated.”

See more photos from the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Inlet 10th Anniversary Celebration.

The biological benefits of the daily tidal influence include, among others, thriving eel grass meadows providing a fish breeding habitat as well as mud flats which host an invertebrate community that is a food source to migrating, wintering and breeding birds.

The Bolsa Chica Wetlands project is one of the largest wetland restoration projects to be constructed in Southern California.  The wetlands are surrounded by the City of Huntington Beach.  The creation of the tidal inlet restored tidal influence to approximately 370 acres of wetland habitat.  The project also improved muted tidal circulation to 200 acres, retained 120 acres of seasonal pond habitat, and reserved 252 acres for future full tidal restoration when oil field operations terminate.  Most of the area had been isolated from the Pacific Ocean for over 100 years and has been used for oil production the past 65 years.

Creation of the tidal inlet was a complex project involving recreation of a tidal channel, stabilization with short jetties, dredging a tidal basin, installing a French drain and pump system, forming upland islands, building a bridge on Pacific Coast Highway and an oil field access bridge to span the new tidal channel, and setting aside an endowment for ongoing operation and maintenance.

For more about the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, see the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Wikipedia page.


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