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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach

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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a nature reserve in the city of Huntington Beach, California. It is designated by the California Department of Fish and Game to protect a coastal wetland, with its resident threatened and endangered species. "Bolsa Chica" means "little bag" in Spanish, as the area was part of a historic Mexican land grant named Rancho La Bolsa Chica. The Reserve is also called many other names, including Bolsa Chica Lowlands, Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and Bolsa Chica Wildlife Refuge.SettingThe Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve boundaries are Warner Avenue to the north, Seapoint Avenue to the south, Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to the west, and residential development to the east.There are two small parking lots: the north lot southeast of the intersection of Warner and PCH, and the south lot on PCH across from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. The north lot contains the Bolsa Chica Interpretive Center. It is the starting point for the Mesa Trail, which leads to the overlook and rest stop at Mesa Point. The south lot is the starting point for the 1.5mi Loop Trail, which crosses a wooden bridge, passes two overlooks, and returns to the parking lot via a sand-dune trail paralleling PCH.The East Garden Grove Wintersburg Channel runs through the Reserve. Beginning in December 2007, flood control improvements were made by the County of Orange to reinforce the levees damaged in the rains of 2005 and protect the wetlands. In addition, the Newport–Inglewood Fault goes through the reserve.
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  • it's worth visiting! one can see lots of birds and some sea life when one visits this preserve! it's a refreshing contrast to some of the beaches in the area that does get real crowded at times...if y...  more »
  • No matter how many times I visit these wetlands so close to home, I am amazed at the variety of birds. Great Herons, egrets,white and grey pelicans, cormorants, hawks -- more than 200 kinds of birds h...  more »
  • Any time of year is a good time to visit Bolsa Chica (BC). Even in the summer, before the shorebird return, you can have a great time with the terns busily flying overhead, screeching and squawking. A...  more »