Friday, February 17, 2012

Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Bolsa Chica Conservatory

We often play in the surf and sand across PCH from the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and although we've walked around them before, we thought it would be fun to arrange a tour.  So, recently Max took us and several of our homeschooling friends for a walk around the north end of the wetlands and imparted his knowledge of the land to us.  We learned quite a bit and it was a great way to spend a beautiful winter morning in sunny Southern California.

Here are some of the interesting things we learned:
*The water in the wetlands is mostly brackish.
*The wetlands provide homes for spiders, gophers, squirrels, bunnies, lizards, coyotes, hundreds of different species of birds, fish, small sharks and sting rays.
*The Great Blue Heron is the largest wetland bird (we've seen these in our backyard too:).
*Wetlands protect against flooding.
*Many migratory birds depend upon the wetlands for a safe stopping place.
*The wetlands have fairly shallow waters - only 5 to 6 feet deep at high tide.
*The nomadic tribe, Tongva used to live and hunt on these lands.
*Bunkers and gun turrets were mounted on the mesa during World War II.
*Pickleweed, a native plant that was used by the natives. grows abundantly on the wetlands.

Note - *Often we see dolphins playing in the water along the coastline here.  A couple weeks ago we saw a great documentary that our friend Justin Krumb just released about Dave Rastovich and his effort to protect whales and dolphins. The film is called Minds in the Water.  You might want to check it out!

Nate's not so sure about the pickleweed!

This storm drain channel travels all the way to the wetlands from Disneyland!
The interpretive center has a fun small hands-on museum too!

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