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AvocetBetween 1970 and 1985, waterfowl populations in North America fell precipitously to record lows. In 1986, the United States and Canada (joined in 1994 by Mexico) signed an agreement and began plans to raise waterfowl populations to 1970 levels. It became urgent that Southern California live down its notorious reputation for squandering once-vast and magnificent stretches of countryside – either live it down or watch more of nature’s bounty slip away.

Embarrassingly, nothing in Southern California made the priority list of an international plan (the North American Waterfowl Plan) for saving wetlands. This happened despite our strategic location as part of the great north-south migration routes for shorebirds, waterbirds, songbirds, and birds of prey migrating between Alaska and South America. And despite the fact that the wetlands are integral parts of wildlife areas conceded to be among the most biologically diverse and important in the world.

Behind that glaring omission, many suggest, was the unstated view that Southern California is past saving. We have a different view and SCWRP is the realization that Orange County and other coastal Southern Californian communities are worth investing in.

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