HUNTINGTON BEACH-- The Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy secured
the recommendation from the Bolsa Chica Subcommittee to manage the Little
The recommendation will be presented to the redevelopment agency at
the next meeting on Feb. 20.
The subcommittee met Friday, hearing pitches from the Huntington Beach
Wetlands Conservancy, the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and Orange Coast Watch,
which want to manage the seven-tenths of an acre parcel situated about
1,000 feet inland of the northwest corner of Pacific Coast Highway along
At the Feb. 5 Huntington Beach Redevelopment Agency meeting, council
members approved an agreement with Mayer Financial, L.P., an affiliate of
the development company Robert Mayer Corp., to convey land over to Mayer
for an expansion of the Waterfront Hilton Beach Resort, homes and Little
The wetlands will return to the city's hands, but Surf City officials
want an agency with experience managing Little Shell while under the
ownership of Mayer. The interim period may last up to 20 months.
"There was concern that the organization who wanted to fill it was to
own it, and we want to allay the fear in the community," said
Councilwoman Connie Boardman, also a Bolsa Chica subcommittee member.
Several community members representing local environmental groups
addressed the committee showing their support for the Huntington Beach
Wetlands Conservancy, which was ultimately chosen for its past management
and restoration experience.
However, the group will only manage the property for now, not restore
"We're not at the restoration point, we're at the management point,"
said Shirley Detloff, councilwoman and subcommittee member.
The wetlands conservancy will consider buying the land if and when the
city decides to sell it, said Gary Gorman, operations coordinator for the
Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy.
Kimberly Kolpin, director of the Bolsa Chica Stewards offered her
group's assistance. The subcommittee and Gary Gorman, operations
coordinator for the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, expressed
hopes that local environmentalist Vic Leipzig of Orange Coast Watch will
also partake in the management of the wetlands.
"It's wonderful to see everyone get involved, especially reputable
groups," said Joey Racano, a longtime Little Shell and environmental