red fence Sandpipers with drilling platform Snowy Egret Bean Clams Beach chairs The gathering Offshore lights Restoration mounds
No lifeguard on duty offshore winds Click images to enlarge Rentals Stormy surf Sunset Toward Long Beach Restoration fence

Bolsa Chica

A Project of the Remaining Wetlands Series


Bolsa Chica is the name given to an estuary and adjacent beach in northwest Orange County. I spend a lot of time surfing, attending bonfires, and walking around at Bolsa, giving me the opportunity to take photographs in a variety of conditions.

A massive wetlands restoration project has been taking place at Bolsa Chica in recent years. The project culminated on August 24th with the opening of an inlet between the estuary and ocean. An inlet had existed at the location until 1899, when a hunting club closed it off to trap ducks. (So sporting.) With the new inlet 387 acres of salt flats will now receive the ebb and flow of ocean tides. With the tides will come mud, invertebrates, plants, and more of the 200 species of birds that now utilize Bolsa Chica.

What I like about this project is that it undoes one of many engineering decisions we have made to tame rivers, wetlands, and coastlines based on ignorance. May we see more deconstruction of this kind.

In that spirit, enjoy the last two photographs on this page, which are of the inlet construction site in 2005.



Related Links

The official Bolsa Chica Lowlands Restoration Project website

Amigos de Bolsa Chica

One more photo: the ugly side of Bolsa Chica