During World War II, the U.S. Army acquired the Bolsa Chica lands through fee, leasehold and permits from 14 parties following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The War Department wanted to construct an artillery battery in order to provide defense of the nearby Port of Long Beach and Fort MacArthur. Several buildings were constructed on the northern half of the Bolsa Chica site, consisting of fortification establishments, personnel and munitions storage, gun emplacements, a water tank and tower, transformer vault, two underground tanks, and electrical and water utility systems. Long range gun emplacements were also constructed on the bluff overlooking Outer Bolsa Bay. The remnants of one of these emplacements can be seen near the Tide Gates on the northern end of the ecological reserve.
Only six years later, all of the sites were declared excess with the exception 0f a 6.20 acre parcel. In 1949, most of the land was returned to its former owners. The War Assets Administration (WAA) assumed accountability for other remaining acres and additional acres were reassigned for the LA Battery Bolsa Chica. Late that year, more acres were declared surplus and again returned to their former owners. The remaining land tracts were conveyed by the Government to the Ocean View School District on 12 September 1949. In 1954, the OVSD breached the conditions of this contract, and the land was transferred back to the Department of the Army. Both the tracts were acquired for Nike Battery Bolsa Chica. However, due to a change in criteria for Nike sites, the subject land could not be used.
Currently, the northern part of the site is vacant, and the property to the north of Los Patos Ave has been subdivided and developed into several single-family homes. The OVSD owns part of the land, and the remaining acres are privately owned. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve encompasses the southwestern quadrants of the site.