Korean Television Visits the Bolsa Chica
By Thomas Anderson

Amigos de Bolsa Chica recently had the privilege of meeting with a film crew representing a South Korean TV station that was visiting the Bolsa Chica to see the success of the restoration and how it was achieved. There were four young men who all spoke only Korean, and one interpreter who lives in Los Angeles. They had read about the Amigos de Bolsa Chica and knew that we had worked for over 40 years to save and restore this important natural resource. Shirley Dettloff, one of the founding members of Amigos, met with them at the wetland. After filming the beauty of the wetland, they engaged her in an interview. They were very interested in the citizen involvement which had been the critical factor in saving the Bolsa Chica. They wanted to know how the community had been brought together to understand the importance of wetlands and then what it took to take that enthusiasm and dedication to convince decision makers to do the right thing: SAVE THE BOLSA CHICA!

Since the blowing wind at the wetland interfered with the sound, the crew had to move the interview indoors. They quickly decided the Dettloff home would be the best spot. Mr. Bob Dettloff, however, had been busily working in the garage on a doll house he was making for a charity auction and was unaware of the impending visit. Mrs. Dettloff quickly jumped out of her car before the van with the Koreans arrived and was able to inform Mr. Dettloff so that he was able to enthusiastically welcome the group and greet them in Korean. Luckily for all, he happened to have worked in Korea on the Korean space program and knew a little of their language (very little). After rearranging the living room furniture and placing a large wooden pelican next to the chair where Mrs. Dettloff was seated for effect, the interview began with the interpreter asking the questions in English.

After leaving the Dettloff residence, the crew headed for San Francisco to film another successful U.S. wetland restoration project, the San Francisco Bay. Mrs. Dettloff had been very excited about the Korean television production’s interest in wetlands and their recognition of the importance of saving them throughout the world. They clearly recognized that the Bolsa Chica is a special place, and in choosing to film here were aware that to save an important natural resource, you must have equal support from both the local population and the scientific community. So if you happen to be in Korea in the next few months, turn on the TV and see if you recognize a place that is so special to all of us . . . the Bolsa Chica!