Bolsa Chica Conservancy celebrates 30 years

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Eric Paquette Operations Manager of The Bolsa Chica Conservancy with Bolsa Chica Conservancy CEO Patrick Brenden. Courtesy photo

The non-profit Bolsa Chica Conservancy—celebrating 30 years—is inspiring and connecting generations through community involvement and hands-on education in coastal resources, watersheds and environmental conservation, according to CEO Patrick Brenden. “The restoration programs have just started again and Include bi-monthly Service Days, Private Service Events, Harriet Weider Regional Park Restoration, Rabbit Island Restoration, Kayak Cleanup, Incorporating a service with a Guided Hike.”

The Ecological Reserve is entirely surrounded by the City of Huntington Beach even though it’s not part of the city. “It’s an unincorporated area of Orange County, technically under the law enforcement authority of the Sheriff’s Department,” Brenden said. “However, HB Police do respond to calls for service in support of the Sheriff. Title to the land is held by the State Lands Commission, although I prefer to think of it as being owned by the People of California. They contract with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for on-site management of the Reserve. This brings in an additional law enforcement authority in the form of Fish and Wildlife wardens.”

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve as the CEO of the Conservancy, which was founded in 1990.  As   someone who has lived in the shadow of the Reserve for more than 25 years and served on its Advisory Council, this has been a dream job which offers the opportunity to truly make a lasting impact on our community. Nothing could be more worthy of passion and hard work than protecting, preserving and restoring this incredible natural wonder that we call, Bolsa Chica. We are hoping that the new interpretive center in a state-of-the-art trailer can be completed this Winter.”

Tim Whitacre, District Director for Orange County Supervisor Chair Michelle Steel, attends the conservancy meetings and thinks these beautiful wetlands are such a vital part of Orange County.

Shawn Wood, Incoming President of HB Kiwanis, was delighted to hear about the educational programs and endangered species. Patrick and Eric Paquette, Conservancy Operations Manager, shared the new University of California  4 unit credit program, as well as several other educational projects.

Dr. Van Vu, HB Kiwanis member and Huntington Harbour resident, said: “Bolsa Chica Wetlands are a hidden gem and a prized sanctuary for nature lovers. We’re lucky to have in it in our backyard; yet not many people know about it.”

Domenic Iorfino, HB Kiwanian/HB Digital CEO, said: “The presentation Eric and Patrick did was great, informative and filled with optimism for the future. Our Bolsa Chica is truly an ecological gem nestled along the coast, surrounded by the sprawl we call urban Southern California. It provides the perfect resting stop for migratory birds as well as the weary human spirit.”

You can learn more at: http://www.bolsachica.org; 714-846-1114. You can also tour their Interpretive Center Daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3842 Warner Ave. (near Pacific Coast Highway).