Location: Orange County
Project Type: Acquisition
Area Affected: 44 acres
Assembly District: 67
Senate District: 35
Congressional District: 46
State Coastal Conservancy, Chris Kroll (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Newland Marsh is a component of the 180-acre Huntington Beach Wetlands, historically part of a large Santa Ana River mouth coastal wetland system extending several miles inland from the ocean. Channelization of the river and construction of Pacific Coast Highway isolated the site from tidal influence in the early 1900’s. The Newland Marsh is comprised of approximately 44 acres of relict coastal salt marsh located north of Pacific Coast Highway, east of Beach Blvd. Caltrans acquired the property in the 1950’s for planned freeway construction that never occurred. Vegetation on the site consists mostly of pickleweed and alkali heath, with a small area of freshwater marsh containing cattail and bulrush. The dense pickleweed communities on the site appear to be ideal nesting habitats for the Belding’s savannah sparrow.
This acquisition project would allow the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy to purchase the Newland Marsh property from Caltrans. Acquisition of the property will enable the Wetlands Conservancy to pursue restoration of tidal influence to this last remaining degraded area of the Huntington Beach Wetlands system. The Newland Marsh will join the Talbert, Brookhurst and Magnolia marshes that have been acquired and restored by the Wetlands Conservancy since 1985. With restoration of tidal influence, the site could provide foraging for the California Least Tern and the California Brown Pelican, both species often observed feeding in other restored areas of Huntington Beach Wetlands.