Bolsa Chica State Beach

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Bolsa Chica State Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach sunset.jpg
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Location Orange County, California, USA
Nearest city Huntington Beach, California
Coordinates 33°41′44″N118°2′56″W / 33.69556°N 118.04889°W / 33.69556; -118.04889 Coordinates: 33°41′44″N118°2′56″W / 33.69556°N 118.04889°W / 33.69556; -118.04889
Area169 acres (68 ha)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Bolsa Chica State Beach is a public ocean beach in Orange County, California, United States. It is located north of Huntington Beach and south of the community of Sunset Beach.


This beach is used for surf fishing, especially in the tidal inlet channel at the southern end. Fish include perch, croaker, cabezon, California corbina, and shovelnose guitarfish. [1] At new and full moons during the summer, grunion emerge from the ocean to spawn on the beach. Under state law, these fish may be caught by hand with a fishing permit.

The beach extends 3 miles (5 km) from Warner Avenue in Sunset Beach south to Seapoint Avenue, where the Huntington City Beach begins. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is located across the busy Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from the beach and is a popular spot for birdwatching.

Lifeguards from the California State Parks Lifeguard Service patrol the beach year round and lifeguard towers are staffed during the summer.

Other recreational activities include surfing and camping. The Bolsa Chica bicycle path runs along the length of Bolsa Chica State Beach through Huntington City Beach. It is designed for leisurely cruises, and a speed limit of 5 mph (8 km/h) is enforced by lifeguards.


The area that is now Bolsa Chica State Beach was once called "Tin Can Beach" by locals. [2] The 169-acre (68 ha) property was added to the state park system in 1960. [3]

In 1967, a nuclear power and desalination plant was planned on Bolsa Island, a man-made island off the beach. [4] It was supposed to produce more electricity than the Hoover Dam. [4] However, the plans were abandoned by its chairman Jack K. Horton in 1968, as Southern California Edison was unable to raise sufficient capital, despite rate hikes and the sale of common stocks. [5]

See also

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  1. "Bolsa Chica State Beach". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  2. "The History". Huntington Beach City Guide. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  3. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 28. Retrieved 2011-09-24.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. 1 2 Epting, Chris (March 23, 2011). "In The Pipeline: The nuclear plant that never was". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  5. "Costs Sink Bolsa Island Power, Desalting Project" . Valley News. Van Nuys, California. July 25, 1968. p. 45. Retrieved July 23, 2016 via