so many of us have labored for over so many years. It's almost hard
to believe that it's finally happening. This battle has gone on for
30 years, which is half of our lives for many of us.
It was good to see so many people at the ceremony who have waging
this fight since the beginning, people like Linda Moon, Charles
Falzon, Loraine Faber, Herb Chatterdon, Shirley Dettloff, Mary Ellen
Houseal, Adrianne Morrison, Ruth Bailey, Dave and Margaret Carlberg,
Ralph and Charlene Bauer, and Peter and Cathy Green. Vic and I were
Johnny-come-latelies in this crowd, since we've been involved in the
battle for only a little over two decades.
We moved to Huntington Beach because of the Bolsa Chica.
Postdoctoral fellowships at University of California at Irvine for
Vic and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for me brought us to Southern
California in 1981, but it was the beautiful Bolsa Chica that caused
us to put down roots in Huntington Beach.
We had enjoyed coastal birding in Connecticut when we were in
graduate school. The thought of living so close to this birding
paradise was thrilling, so we searched for a home here instead of
Westminster or Costa Mesa. We thought that a community that had the
foresight, wisdom and environmental conscience to preserve this
fabulous marsh would be a great place to live. Little did we know at
the time that the Bolsa Chica was far from saved.
At the time, we were unaware of just how new that restored section
of the Bolsa Chica really was. The California Department of Fish and
Game had re-contoured the land, created two sand islands for tern
nesting and built the walk bridge across the marsh only three years
before our arrival.
It was on one of our first birding forays to the newly restored
portion of the Bolsa Chica that Vic met Margaret Carlberg, who
informed him of the Amigos de Bolsa Chica and their fight to save the
rest of the Bolsa Chica wetlands. Only 300 acres of that vast salt
marsh were really saved, and only about half of that had been
restored to tidal flushing. The vast majority of the wetland acreage
was slated to become housing and a marina. We were horrified.