Important Partnerships Help Bolsa Chica
By Charles Falzon
My most recent visit to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands was with my youngest daughter. It’s always wonderful to share with her the history of the Amigos, and there is much to be excited about in the present moment as well, most of which you will read about on the following pages. To highlight a few things: In partnership with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, we are bringing additional Interpretive Panels to various points along the trails at the Bolsa Chica, providing yet another avenue for visitors to access information on the ecosystem we’ve worked so hard to protect.
We are fortunate to be working with Dr. Katherine Mackey, Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California Irvine, who begins her column, “Ask the Expert,” in this issue of the Tern Tide. The Amigos’ board of directors had the privilege of touring her lab at UCI earlier this year. Her research on factors influencing phytoplankton mercury uptake is particularly relevant to our FLOW program, where citizen scientists collect water samples from the Bolsa Chica for analysis of their salinity levels, pH levels, and – you guessed it – phytoplankton concentrations.
We have also been fortunate having Thomas Pfeifer and his students from Segerstrom High School’s Environmental Science Program participate in everything from native plant gardening at the Bolsa Chica State Beach Visitor Center to the FLOW classes to wetland cleanups to assisting the Amigos at Huntington Beach Unified High School District’s recent STEAM Fair. These students are the next generation of environmental leaders, and the Amigos are lucky to be associated with them.
We hope these partnerships will continue to provide opportunities for local citizens to enhance their knowledge of the Bolsa Chica. As always, many thanks to our incredible team working to continue our programming, and to you – our fellow Amigos – for your ongoing support.