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Dan Kalmick elected president of Bolsa Chica Land Trust

Dan Kalmick has been elected to a two-year term as Bolsa Chica Land Trust president.
Dan Kalmick has been elected to a two-year term as Bolsa Chica Land Trust president.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)
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Dan Kalmick, who has served on the Bolsa Chica Land Trust board of directors for more than a decade, has been elected to serve a two-year term as the organization’s president.

Kalmick, a member of the Huntington Beach City Council, previously served as the nonprofit’s vice president and treasurer. A longtime civic activist, he served eight years on the city’s Planning Commission prior to being elected to the City Council.

He replaces Jennifer Thomas, a local real estate agent who served nine years as the Land Trust president.

Kalmick said the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, founded in 1992 as an offshoot of the Amigos de Bolsa Chica, is in the process of moving away from acquisition and preservation of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands toward restoration and upkeep.

“That’s really what the mission is slowly moving toward,” he said. “There’s really not much left that is not protected. ...There’s no property out there that’s left for development, so as we move away from that, we need to work on restoration.

“We’ve effectively completed its first goal, which was preservation of all of Bolsa Chica. Now we’re in that time of how do we do maintenance, and finding dollars to maintain and provide tours and docent work and education? We still run a bunch of school kids through Bolsa Chica. We provide funding for busing for a bunch of elementary and middle schools to bring the kids out to Bolsa Chica [as part of the ‘Miracles of the Marsh’ program] and take them on tours.”

Annette Mangaard, from Toronto, Canada rides her bike across a bridge at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in March 2022.
Annette Mangaard, from Toronto, Canada rides her bike across a bridge at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in this March 2022 file photo.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Kalmick said the Land Trust recently used Proposition 1 grant money to fund a study to look at the tidal inlet north of Seapoint Street. The inlet opening gets silted up, so it needs to be dredged.

“There wasn’t continued funding from the state for the $1 million to $2 million to dredge that opening,” he said. “We need to keep that tidal inlet open, because it creates a lot of bird habitat. Once it got open, an enormous number of birds came back to Bolsa Chica and it was a great watershed moment, pun intended.”

According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, more than 200 avian species have been identified at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

Thomas, the outgoing president who remains on the board, said she is proud of the work the Land Trust has done during her time.

“Not too many Realtors are probably into not building homes, saving areas,” she said. “If it didn’t get saved, I honestly think there would be a harbor out there with a bunch of luxury high-rise apartments or hotels. I don’t think that would be a very good thing. Once something’s gone, it’s gone.”

The Land Trust board also reelected Vice President Roberta Armstrong, Secretary Marinka Horack and Treasurer Jeff Rokos, each also to two-year terms.

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