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Bolsa Chica Reserve Wetlands Bridge Opens in Huntington Beach

By Writer/Photographer Chris MacDonald, HB Ambassador/The Local News Columnist


Huntington Beach, Calif.--After finishing a walk in Sunset Beach, I went to a ceremony at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands held on March 4, 2010, for the official opening of a new state-of-the-art $500,000 pedestrian bridge uniting the mesa trails to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy parking lot. This is significant because it allows people to safely walk between the two areas, rather than hike along busy Warner Avenue to cross a channel and reach the much-used trail.



A number of groups and individuals made the 145-foot, 70,000 pound bridge possible through their fundraising and financial contributions. The Conservancy, Amigos de Bolsa Chica, Bolsa Chica Land Trust and other local and state environmental groups worked hard for seven years to raise the necessary money.

The State of California Department of Fish and Game coordinated the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with three Bolsa Chica environmental groups. Recognized at the event were several people who made it possible, including Madison Makoff, a Huntington Beach resident, who donated $750 dollars from birthday gifts to the project two years ago when she was just 7. Chuck and Barbara Steel made a huge donation for the bridge's completion and were also recognized.

I'd like to THANK everyone involved in making the dream come true, including Edmund J. Pert (Regional Manager for the State of California Department of Fish and Game'South Coast Region), Chica Conservancy Chairman Mark Gaughan, Paul Arms (Chica Land Trust President), Jennifer Robins (Amigos de Bolsa Chica President), John Moorlach (Orange County Supervisor for the Second District), Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio, Ed Laird (Chief Executive Officer of Laird Coatings Corp), Flossie Horgan (Executive Director of The Chica Land Trust) Joe Shaw, Nancy Donaven, Jim and Carrie Thomas, Eileen Murphy, Vi Cowden, Kim Kolpin, Don and Juana Muller and Marc Stirdivant (Chica Land Trust Members), Dave and Margaret Carlberg, Tom Livengood, Jim Robins ( Amigos de Bolsa Chica Members), Grace Adams (Chica Conservancy Executive Director), Ross and Patti Griswold (Chica Conservancy Members), Dan Kanne (Shipley Nature Center Board Member), Chris Epting (Huntington Beach Independent Columnist), Matt Liffering (HBTV Channel 3), Greg Griffin (President of The Sunset Beach Homeowners Association) and Merle Moshiri (Huntington Beach Residents for Responsible Desalination). Also, representatives from State Senator Tom Harman and Assemblyman Jim Silva were on hand to present Proclamations. Both legislators helped in the bridge effort.

Supervisor Moorlach talked about how symbolic the bridge was uniting so many groups for the common cause. 'I don't just see a bridge, I see people, who work together, in spite of differences, to achieve a common goal that will benefit everyone today and in the future,' said the articulate supervisor.

Now go enjoy the bridge and when you're walking across it, think of all the people who made it possible. It really does show, when communities care, anything can happen. We all can help build bridges for a better tomorrow.

Bridge Location: Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve north lot. Free parking as space permits for mesa tours is in the north lot at the corner of Warner & Pacific Coast Highway next to the interpretive center (trailer) in Huntington Beach, CA.

For further information contact:

  • The Bolsa Chica Conservancy at: (877) 265-7261.
  • The Amigos de Bolsa Chica at: (714) 840-1575.
  • Bolsa Chica Land Trust at: (714) 846-1001.