Tin Can Beach becomes Bolsa Chica State Beach

September 1956: Rusting cans are used to spell out “Tin Can Beach,” the nickname given Bolsa Chica Beach near Huntington Beach.

This photo accompanied a story in the Sept. 16, 1956 Los Angeles Times Orange County edition. Staff writer Bob Gettemy reported:

County and State plans to expand beach recreational facilities in Orange County will result in increasing present ocean and bay front park acreage by nearly five times in about five years, an Orange County Section study disclosed this week.

Under the California State park system’s five-year master plan, 372 acres will be added to the 265 acres now in the county’s four State beach parks for a total of 637 acres.

Conversion of Bolsa Chica (tin can) beach into a State park will add another 525 acres for a grand total of 1162 acres.

When the projects are completed, more that 45,000 feet, or about eight and one-half miles of beach front will be available in five State parks located in the county. ….

By 1960, Tin Can Beach was gone. A short story in the Oct. 2, 1960 Los Angeles Times reported:

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Oct. 1–Famed “Tin Can” beach went into history today with the official dedication of the three-mile stretch of sand and surf north of here as Bolsa Chica State Beach Park.

For years the beach between here and Sunset Beach had been an eyesore–almost paved with the rusted tin cans left by generations of campers and squatters.

Nearly 10 years was taken to acquire the million-dollar project–a delay caused by the task of acquiring title from more than 300 individuals who had property interests in it. …

September 1958: This enterprising beach resident has taken advantage of the litter on Tin Can Beach to line the approach to his summer home. Some campers had spent their summers at the beach for 30 years. This photo appeared in the Sept. 7, 1958 Los Angeles Times. Credit: Hubert A. McClain / Los Angeles Times

September 1958: Litter on “Tin Can Beach,” which was cleaned up and became Bolsa Chica State Beach. This photo was published in the Sept. 7, 1958 Los Angeles Times. Credit: Hubert A. McClain / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 4, 1957: Litter on section of Bolsa Chica Beach, nicknamed “Tin Can Beach,” before cleanup and becoming a state beach. This photo was published in the Feb. 24, 1957 Los Angeles Times. Credit: Hubert A. McClain / Los Angeles Times