Just another average sunset in paradise!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A walk in the ecological reserve

Yesterday, while I was trying to figure out what to do for the day,  my ex-wife came by and offered to buy me lunch if I would go for a walk first.  What a great offer!  We drove over to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands which is about a 3 mile drive.  We took a 4 mile walk on trails that surround the wetlands.

After years of deterioration the wetlands finally started a comeback in 2006 when for the first time in more than 100 years sea water again flowed into the wetlands.  In 1900 a group of rich businessmen from Los Angeles and Pasadena formed a gun club and blocked the flow of seawater into the wetlands.  They replaced the seawater with fresh water to attract migrating ducks and geese.   This worked to some degree but the reduction in the salinity of the water caused damage to the habitat which seemed insurmountable.

Their clubhouse was directly behind the clump of trees in the background.  Parts still remain but the main building was torn down in the 1970s.  Strangely the recent improvements were made by rich businessmen but not for altruistic reasons.  The ports of Los  Angeles and Long Beach paid more than $100 million into the restoration project for permission to expand on protected lands adjacent to the ports.

Prior to 2006, the area pictured above was almost completely dry.  It was almost a dumping ground including the normal trash, setups for moto-cross bikers and pools of oil and debris left from oil drilling sites.  What an improvement!

The century without proper tidal flow allowed non-native plants to take over 70% of the wetlands.  The focus of the current restoration project is to eliminate the invaders and replace them with indigenous plant species.

The number and variety of birds has increased.  If I had Judy's knowledge (Travels with Emma) I could tell you what most of them are.  Following are pix of a couple I do know: a Great Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret.


  1. Wetlands are such important estuaries! I love the GBH shot.

    Thanks for the link! :)

  2. I've never seen a heron standing in a tree!! Interesting shot and interesting info on the wetlands.

  3. I love photos of bare trees, and with the Heron it's fantastic!