Heritage Fields Housing Development and Orange County Great Park Paleontological Survey

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The Heritage Fields Development area encompasses 3,700 acres of recreational and residential development on what was formerly the World War II era Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and adjacent Orange County land. The development will be a mixed-use community with a wide range of housing densities and styles that takes advantage of the open space in Orange County Great Park.
Prior to construction, ESA provided a paleontological survey, assessment of the site, and fossil salvage services on behalf of Orange County Great Park Corporation and Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC. Two years later, while the site was under construction, ESA returned to the site to provide ongoing paleontological monitoring, fossil salvage, microfossil sampling, and laboratory preparation of salvaged fossils for museum curation.
The site was rich with fossils, including one of a Miocene whale and associated marine life from the Monterey Formation. Our team also conducted a detailed analysis of Quaternary sediments and fossils that yielded important new insights into Pleistocene events on the Tustin Plain.

Specialized Services

  • Archaeological testing and evaluation
  • Historic resources assessment and management
  • Historical investigations, documentation, and plans
  • Paleontological surveys and studies

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