View of Magnolia Marsh during restoration taken using an Earthcam. Brookhurst and Talbert marshes are in the background.


MSRP funded wetland restoration projects because of the value wetlands provide to many species of fish as nursery habitat. Large-scale wetland restoration is costly and many organizations are involved with this activity in southern California. MSRP filled critical funding gaps for two important wetland restoration projects.

Huntington Beach Wetlands Project

MSRP provided partial funding to restore parts of Talbert and Brookhurst Marshes within the Huntington Beach Wetlands system. This project opened up approximately 140 acres of wetland habitat to full-tidal flow. These wetlands play an important role as nursery and foraging habitat for many fish and bird species. Restoration work at the Huntington Beach wetlands was completed in March 2009.

Following restoration of the Huntington Beach Wetlands, MSRP collaborated with California State University Long Beach and the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, to complete a two-year study looking at the use of the wetlands by halibut. Scientists studied the feeding and movement patterns of juvenile and adult California Halibut in the wetland system. Initial studies confirmed that juvenile halibut are using the restored wetlands as a nursery and are growing in size and adult halibut are shown entering the wetlands to forage on smaller fish.

Watch our live fish webcam in Talbert Marsh!

Project Report

Bolsa Chica Wetlands Project

MSRP provided funding for dredging 200,000 cubic meters of sand from the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve to maintain full tidal exchange in March 2009. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is one of the largest full-tidal exchange wetland restoration projects in southern California.

Dredging inlet to Bolsa Chica wetlands with Pacific Ocean in background. (Photo Credit: David Witting, NOAA)

Maintaining full tidal exchange is a critical element in the wetland’s function as nursery and foraging habitat for marine fish. The channel at Bolsa Chica needs to be dredged every few years because of the accumulation of sediments that builds up at the channel opening during high and low tides. If the channel is not dredged, the water flow in and out of the wetlands could decrease oxygen levels and water quality.