Current Projects


The Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy (HBWC) is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant from the Henry W. & Ellen R. Warne Family Endowment Fund of the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF). This grant will support the Salt Marsh Bird's Beak (Chloropyron maritimum subsp. maritimum) Project on our Magnolia Marsh by extending our previously successful planting of this endangered species in 2015 and funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The HWBC is very proud that our Magnolia Marsh is one of only eight areas in California where this endangered species of plant is growing.

Bird's Beak in our Wetlands at HBWC

The HBWC will be collaborating with Eric Zahn (Principle Restoration Ecologist of Tidal Influence to achieve two goals. First, we will continue growing of Bird's Beak in the Magnolia Marsh. Next, we will work to define two new areas north and south of the existing plants as we expand their growth. We will also be identifying key attributes which contributed to our previously successful plantings by examining soil conditions, watering, moisture levels, surrounding plant species and elevations of our existing plantings to ensure a success under this Project. The HBWC will also be working with teachers and students from Edison High School as they look at these key attributes and develop hypothesis which will be used in the students AP Biology papers due at the end of the 2018 school year. The papers will look at the key attributes listed above to assist the HBWC and Tidal Influences in their overall plans for a successful planting of Bird's Beak.

From John Villa - Executive Director, Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy: "This grant from the Henry W. & Ellen R. Warne Family Endowment Fund of the Orange County Community Foundation will greatly assist the HBWC in meeting its mission to Acquire, Restore and Preserve the 180 Acres of the Historical Huntington Beach Wetlands. A direct correlation of our mission is to protect and preserve the various species of animals and plants we see in our marshes with special attention to the identified endangered species of birds and plants. The public is always invited to tour our marshes and enjoy our success."
From Eric Zahn – Principal Restoration Ecologist, Tidal Influence: "With so few places left in existence where this endangered plant can live, the Huntington Beach Wetlands offer an incredible opportunity to conserve a population of this species. This is all made possible through strong partnerships between the landowner, funders, and resource agencies."

The Warne Family Endowment Fund awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process to protect and promote the protection of endangered species. Orange County is home to over 30 endangered species and encompasses many ecosystems that are critical to the survival of these species. Grants are awarded to improve the health and resilience of critical coastal endangered species ecosystems, as well as sustain or increase coastal endangered species populations in Orange County.

Native Plant Nursery

Part of the mission statement of the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy is restoration of native habitat. To that end, the Conservancy, as part of its involvement in the Orange Coast River Park (OCRP), hosts the OCRP native plant nursery. The nursery, located within the Conservancy's site at PCH and Newland, will be instrumental in helping restore native species to local area wetlands including the Huntington Beach Wetlands and both wetlands and uplands within the OCRP along the Santa Ana River. The nursery has been established specifically to propagate native plants to be used for restoration projects in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

While the targeted wetland and upland properties cover many plant communities, wetland species will be the initial focus of the plant propagation efforts. Having a local nursery that focuses on wetland species is significant since it will minimize the cost of plant stock needed for restoration projects, provide a stable and reliable source of replacement plant stock, and insure that the plants used for these restorations have come from locally native seeds and cuttings. The nursery is a volunteer-based project, which provides a unique opportunity for members of the community to be involved in directly impacting the habitat of local coastal areas.

Salt Marsh Bird's Beak

The Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy has embarked on a research project involving the endangered species of Salt Marsh Bird's Beak plant. This beautiful plant is a hemiparasite growing in low clumps, and concentrates and excretes the salts that give it a distinctive grainy crust.