Madrona Marsh in spring
Drilling rig in Madrona Marsh
Sign next to Madrona Marsh
Madrona Marsh Preserve, located in Torrance,
California, is the last vernal
marsh remaining in the South
Bay area of Los Angeles and one of few wetlands
located within an urban landscape.
eons ago when the mountains of the Palos Verdes Peninsula rose to the south, Madrona Marsh is a
shallow depression fed by wet season (spring) storms as the name
After the rainy season, evaporation
reduce the water depth by about
one-quarter of an inch (6 mm) per day. By the end of August, the
wetland is dry and remains so until the following rainy season.
Situated on land that was set aside for oil
production in 1924, Madrona Marsh was never
developed—unlike the surrounding city—and remains a valuable
reptiles, insects and even small mammals.
Ongoing efforts are restoring native plants including wildflowers
and butterfly species. The area has long been popular with bird watchers and The Audubon Society has used Madrona Marsh for their annual bird census
since 1967. El Camino College uses it as an outdoor biology and botany lab.
Public access to the Madrona Marsh trails is
offered Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and guided
tours can be arranged by calling the Nature Center (310)
Oil infrastructure is also evident on the site.
The City of Torrance operates the Madrona Marsh Nature
in cooperation with the Friends of the Madrona
Marsh. Activities include bird and nature walks, natural history
classes and workshops, habitat restoration, science and astronomy
programs, art exhibits, and children's nature programs. The center
opened in 2001 and features exhibits about the plants, birds and
animals of the marsh.
The marsh and nature center
to the public on Mondays.