Track: Field Trip
Established in 1975 by a grassroots effort, the Upper Newport Bay (UNB) is Southern California's largest marine estuary. Just 20 miles south of Long Beach, CA, UNB protects several state and federally endangered species. The 1,000-acre property is a refuge for plants and wildlife imperiled by coastal development. On our tour of UNB, we will start at the Back Bay Science Center (BBSC) to watch the live stream of our resident Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nest. By kayak, we will visit several restoration projects led by the Newport Bay Conservancy (NBC). Despite being fully protected from future development, UNB is threated by future sea level rise and other disturbances. Without active management and planning, much of the salt marsh could be inundated by the next century. Fortunately, UNB is owned and managed by California Department of Fish Wildlife (CDFW). Successful management relies on coordination with NBC, Orange County Parks, and the City of Newport Beach. On our tour we will discuss how government agencies and landowners collaborate to solve environmental issues related to invasive species, altered hydrology, and sea level rise. We will conclude our tour with tips for kayaking and volunteering in the UNB. Join us on this adventure into Southern California’s largest marine estuary!