New CEO of Bolsa Chica Conservancy named

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Patrick Brenden standing by The Bolsa Chica Wetlands. Courtesy photo

The Bolsa Chica Conservancy recently selected Patrick Brenden as their new CEO. Brenden, a Huntington Beach City Councilman, lives near the wetlands and has volunteered there as well as for many other environmental causes.

“The Conservancy Board of Directors are very excited about having Patrick as their CEO,” said Ed Mountford, chairman of the group. “The Conservancy is ready to launch our organization to the next level, both in terms of expanding our program offerings and putting a capital campaign in place to raise funds necessary to build a permanent home in Harriet Weider Regional Park, off Seapoint Street. Patrick’s leadership and creativity will help us preserve the wetlands as a wildlife habitat for generations to come.”

The Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, California. It was established in 1990 by a coalition of government, community, business, and environmental leaders with the mission of providing services that inspire and connect all generations through community involvement and leadership in hands-on restoration and education in wetland science, watersheds, coastal ecology, and environmental sustainability.

With the 1972 passage of the California Coastal Act, it was determined that a viable wetland existed and originally 310 acres were established as the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. In 1997, under a state and federal interagency agreement, 880 acres of the remaining lowland portions of Bolsa Chica were purchased by the State of California. At 1,449 acres, the Bolsa Chica Wetlands is the largest saltwater marsh between Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary.

Today, the Conservancy serves as an important ecological reserve and outreach center in the highly urbanized Southern California region. It operates from a temporary modular facility on the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, offering science-based and standards-aligned classes and guided tours, educational exhibits and displays, research, restoration of degraded wetland and upland habitats, and propagation of native plants for use in restoration projects.

In 2018, the Conservancy served nearly 56,000 people of all ages & cultures through both its onsite programs as well as across Southern California through its mobile educational Van, known as “Windows to our Wetlands.”

You can meet Brenden at the 7th Annual Labour of Love Music Fest (Bolsa Chica State Beach–Warner & Pacific Coast Highway) this Saturday, Aug. 31. The Bolsa Chica Conservancy will have a booth at the event, right across the highway from the wetlands, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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