Poseidon Water has proposed a plan to save the Bolsa Chica wetlands, which is the ecological jewel of north Orange County. The Bolsa Chica wetlands is a 1,500-acre coastal estuary located in Huntington Beach, owned by the State Lands Commission and managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It’s the largest saltwater marsh between Monterey Bay and the Tijuana River Estuary near the US/Mexico border.
Beginning in 2004, more than 500 acres of the Bolsa Chica Lowlands was reconstructed to its original conditions in the 1800s including the restoration and full tidal influence through a new inlet; bridge construction and excavation of a tidal basin. Today, approximately 30,000 people visit the reserve each year for recreational activities, educational tours and wildlife watching. Bolsa Chica is home to more than 1,100 species including 50 endangered fish and wildlife species.
Unfortunately, at the end of 2021 the funds to maintain the recently restored Bolsa Chica ocean inlet will run out. Protecting, preserving and sustaining the Bolsa Chica wetlands is an ecological priority throughout the Southland. Poseidon Water recognizes the importance of this coastal estuary and has committed to restoring additional uplands and the long-term maintenance of the ocean inlet which is essential to ensure the tidal action that supports the health of this biologically diverse wetlands.
In addition, the company has also agreed to make an annual deposit of $300,000 in the State Lands Commission’s Kapiloff Land Bank Fund for use in the adaptive management and operations of the Bolsa Chica Lowlands Restoration Project.
The State Lands Commission strongly supports Poseidon Water’s Bolsa Chica Protection Plan. The Commission wrote to the California Coastal Commission in 2013 stating, “The Bolsa Chica wetland site in Huntington Beach is an example of an underfunded restoration project in need of additional funds to maintain the high value habitat that was created. Given its close proximity to the proposed desalination project area, it would be an ideal candidate for this type of mitigation derived funding augmentation.”
The details of Poseidon Water’s Marine Life Mitigation Plan for Bolsa Chica can be found here.
“Desalination must be included in any discussion of future water sources for Orange County."