The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is located near Huntingdon Beach,
California off the Pacific Coast Highway. The reserve is a 1200 acre
(480 hectare) area adjacent to Inner and Outer Bolsa Bay. The reserve
originated as the result of an agreement between the Amigos de Bolsa
Chica, a local citizen group, and Signal Bolsa Corporation which owns
oil extraction facilities in this area. The operation of the reserve
is assisted by the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, a non-profit organization.
In 1899, access to the ocean was diked off which changed these wetlands
into a freshwater marsh since salt marshes
need a regular influx of salt water.The original channel silted over.
In 1978, new culverts were installed relinking the wetlands to the ocean,
returning the area to a salt marsh as it was before the original dike was built.
Due to tidal variations, the water level in Outer Bolsa Bay varies by
about 8 feet. The levels in Inner Bolsa vary by 2 to 3 feet. There are
two high tides and two low tides daily.
Salt Marsh Interpretive Trail
A 1.5 mile walking trail circles Inner Bolsa Bay and provides good views
of the local wildlife. You could see:
Free guided tours are available year round on the first Saturday
of the month. Tours can be arranged for groups at other times
by contacting the Amigos at (714) 840-1575; a modest fee may be
requested. Now you can visit their home page at
You can contact the Bolsa Chica Conservancy at
The Bolsa Chica Conservancy
3842 Warner Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649