By Eric Paquette
As you know, Earth Day was on Friday April 22nd this year, but here at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy we celebrated Earth Day every day in April! Volunteers showed their love of the Earth and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve by helping out Conservancy staff members with various restoration projects in the wetlands. During Earth Month here at the Conservancy, we worked with 23 super volunteers to lead over 170 volunteers – including employees from Vans and Target – on various parts of the ecological reserve. Volunteers helped remove invasive plant species, trash, and debris, which unfortunately appeared from the rains we received in late winter/early spring.
Our volunteers were able to remove over 4,300 lbs. of invasive plant material from the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve along Pacific Coast Highway, Warner Avenue, and around the Interpretive Center. This would have been no easy task for the Conservancy staff alone without the assistance from dedicated volunteers. Plant species which were in abundance that volunteers assisted in removing were Maltese star thistle (Centaurea melitensis), Common sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus), Annual yellow sweetclover (Melilotus indicus), European sea rocket (Cakile maritima), Slender-leaf iceplant (Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum), and Crystalline iceplant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum).
We hope to accomplish even more work during our restoration work days in the summer months to help the reserve remain a haven both for the animals and our visitors! The wetlands here are not only beautiful and provide many opportunities to sharpen your photography and birding skills, but are also essential to improving water quality, reducing flooding, and provide critical habitat for wildlife. Join Conservancy staff in showing your appreciation for Southern California’s largest salt water marsh by participating in one of our public service days each month on the 2nd Sunday and last Saturday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. To RSVP or for additional information contact Eric Paquette; firstname.lastname@example.org or (714)846-1114.