Here at the Orange County Coastkeeper, we know that kids are the future of our planet. So we took students from South Jr. High out of the classroom and brought them to Bolsa Chica to learn about their local ecosystem. We chose these students because they live in the Anaheim Bay-Huntington Harbor Watershed, which drains right into Bolsa Chica. This trip takes our little locals on an adventure through the Wetlands and State Beach so they can see first hand how their everyday actions impact their local ecosystems and wildlife.
On this trip, it was a great day for bird watching. We saw the usual suspects: Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Sand Pipers, and more, but we also saw some rare ones. We saw about five White Pelicans which is very rare. We also saw a Tri-Colored Heron and a very young Yellow-Crowned Night Heron.
While conducting water quality tests, the kids were accompanied by a friendly sea lion and even got to meet a huge California Sea Hare. After our hike, we removed invasive ice plant as part of Bolsa Chica's restoration efforts. Following the restoration, we did lunch and free time at the beach and finished the day by watching a beautiful pod of dolphins.
It was a fun and successful day. Students saw the end of their watershed and how much trash washed down the river, inspiring them to not litter and prevent trash from ending up in the waterways.