Located in Orange County, CA, La Bolsa is a town about four hours drive from Los Angeles and San Bernardino. This coastal town is home to more than two hundred species of birds and the area has been designated an Important Birding Area by the National Audubon Society. The beach has been cleaned by the state and the town is a popular tourist destination.

The name Bolsa Chica was given to the area by the Spanish colonizers, but the area’s history is much longer. According to archaeological findings, Native Americans lived in the area as early as 9,000 years ago. They likely migrated over the Bering Land Bridge and used the coastline to escape harsh winters in the Santa Ana Mountains. The Shoshone tribe was the first to inhabit the area and enjoyed the abundant supply of fish. These early inhabitants built wickiups, or wigwams. These were temporary dwellings that were inhabited seasonally.

The Tongva tribe also lived in the area, and their settlements are on display at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. The Native Americans left thousands of empty shells along the beaches. These artifacts were likely destroyed by flooding and human activity.

The American settlers eventually started migrating west after California joined the Union. The influx of settlers caused small towns to pop up in the region. The area was also an ideal location for hunting ducks. Oil rigs were brought to the area in 1920. The military also brought their equipment to the area during World War II.

During the 1950s, a large quantity of trash was left on the beach. The 300 ton piles of waste were left behind for months. In 1961, the beach was cleaned by the state. In the mid-1990s, the restoration of the wetlands began. This was the largest coastal wetland restoration in Southern California. This project involved eight state and federal agencies. The project’s purpose was to improve habitat for endangered species. The area is now a natural barrier for runoff pollution. It is also a year-round home for more than two hundred different bird species.

The Bolsa Chica wetlands are located adjacent to the California Department of Fish and Game’s Ecological Reserve. The restoration project will create nesting and feeding areas for many threatened species. It is planned to gradually improve habitat quality over twenty-five years.

The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are protected by the Coastal Act. The Coastal Act was passed by the state in 1972 to protect at-risk coastal areas. The site contains a mixture of salt water and freshwater ponds and estuaries. The wetlands are home to more than a hundred early California artifacts. Some of the ancient coastal California artifacts include charm stones, arrow points, cogged stones, and shellfish. Browse around this site

The Bolsa Chica area was part of a larger land grant that was handed out by the government. The land was named Rancho La Bolsa Chica in honor of the sister of Manuel Nieto. When the land grant was distributed, the Nieto family was given 8,000 acres of land, including wetlands. However, the family was unable to pay for the land. In 1895, the land was subdivided into smaller parcels. Most of the remaining land was returned to the original owners in 1949. Browse next article

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