Vic and I attended the third Bolsa Chica Science Symposium this past Saturday, where nine scientists presented the results of their research and monitoring programs conducted at Bolsa Chica. Actually, Vic did more than attend. He was the moderator. About 80 people were in attendance.
Bob Hoffman of the National Marine Fisheries Service led off with a review of the process and costs of the 2006 restoration project that brought ocean water back to the former oil fields. He showed a photo of himself taken in 1976, when he began work at Bolsa Chica. At that time, he was told by his boss that he would retire on the Bolsa Chica project. He laughed at the idea at the time. But he'll be retiring this December and is still working on Bolsa Chica.
Because the last major dry segment won't be opened to full tidal flushing until the oil is all pumped out, the final restoration step is still many years in the future. Meanwhile, that area provides a salt panne and seasonal ponds where birds can rest, feed and even nest. The full tidal basin was created larger than needed so that there would be enough flow to serve that area when the oil wells are removed.