Migration Haven

Tis the season for birds, birds and more birds
Whether a novice or skilled birder, the Upper Newport Bay gives you an opportunity to check out our feathered friends from different vantage points around the Bay. All walks are FREE; RSVP to 949-923-2269 or info@newportbay.org.
Visit the Orange County Chapter Audubon Society’s website, Sea & Sage, to view monthly bird counts of the Bay.
Visit eBird for all bird counts in the Bay and throughout Orange County.
Saturday, March 4, 9 am
Entrance to Shellmaker Island
Leisurely walk along Back Bay Drive with a Naturalist who will  identify the BIRDS and plants they see along their walk.
Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5, 9:30 am
Newport Aquatic Center
Lesson on kayaking and explore the BIRDS that live at the Bay.

Gift of Giving

ridgway-railConnecting people to nature has been at the heart of the Newport Bay Conservancy since we were founded almost 50 years ago.  Yes, our Mission is to “Protect and Preserve Upper Newport Bay,” but more than that, we actively encourage and inspire our neighbors and visitors to get out and explore the reserve and to grow a love of nature.

walkOur dedicated, volunteer naturalists donated 12,000 hours of their time this year.  You see them around the Bay removing invasive plants and replacing them with native plants, picking up trash on Coastal Cleanup Day, leading bird and plant walks, connecting 2000 youth to nature through story-time, arts and crafts, exploring the habitats, and enjoying land and water activities. You see them on Earth Day or at seminars on environmental issues.

groupOur valued donors are the heart and soul of Newport Bay Conservancy.  They include people of all ages and backgrounds but with a common focus, keeping our wild species and wild spaces as untouched as possible.  We only succeed in our mission because of support from people like you.

Please take a moment to join or renew your annual membership this holiday season.

Removed over 7,500 lbs trash on Coastal Cleanup Day

Over 700 people came out September 17 for Coastal Cleanup Day at the Bay to remove over 7,500 lbs. of trash and recyclables from our waterway! Reporting from the Muth Center, volunteers removed over:

2,500 food wrappers, 2,500 take out containers, 5,000 bottle caps, 1,600 plastic lids, 1,500 straws, 500 plastic silverware, 2,700 glass & plastic bottles and the list goes ON and ON and ON…

If you weren’t able to make it out, please make sure you are on our mailing list so you can be notified about future cleanup events. EVERY person helps. It starts in your own backyard. Think about what you use and how you throw it away.

cud-all-cleanup cud-caps cud-strawcud-toy

SOCALPAPA Paints the Back Bay and OC Parks

Saturday and Sunday
July 16-17, 2016
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Peter & Mary Muth Interpretive Center

Southern California Plein Air Painters Association (SOCALPAPA) return to the Upper Newport Bay with several hundred original paintings from over 40 artists at this year’s art show and sale. Spend the day browsing pieces capturing the beautiful scenery and the natural heritage of Southern California.  

Art Show & Sale

Free painting classes for kids 7-12 years of age will be offered on Saturday and Sunday. This festival of fine art is a collaborative event organized by Newport Bay Conservancy in partnership with SOCALPAPA and Orange County Parks. A portion of the sales proceeds to benefit the Newport Bay Conservancy. For more information, click here.

The Flight of Thousands

Every spring, Upper Newport Bay becomes a destination for weary travelers from the Arctic. These tourists take in the weather, socialize, dine and bask in the comfort and protection of the Bay. Welcome our feathered friends – birds.

After enduring a trip of over 3,000 miles on the Pacific Flyaway, the highway in the sky, some birds rest here and others continue to other destinations farther south. With wetland environments disappearing rapidly, the Bay is important oasis – over 200 species! Exhausting nearly 50% of their body weight during migration, the lush resources of the Bay helps them to re-energize.

February is the time to grab binoculars and get to know some of these visitors. Identify low tide locals and check out marbled godwits and longbilled curlews, probing into the mud or the osprey hunting for fish. Migratory birds to look for include the dowitcher, western sandpiper and the bufflehead as well as many other wetland ducks.

There are plenty of opportunities for all ages this month to view the nearly 30,000 expected birds from land and from the water. Don’t wait too long as many birds will continue on or return to the great north starting in March.


Sunday, October 11, 10-2 pm
Peter and Mary Muth Center and
Back Bay Science Center

The Newport Bay Conservancy in partnership with Orange County Parks, City of Newport Beach and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will host an open house at two different locations. Because there is so much going on at the Bay – naturalist-led hikes, water tours, jogging, bicycling, birding and photography – we need two different locations to bring it all to you. Visit us to see the range of family-friendly activities, behind-the-scene tours with volunteers and staff and touch tanks all day.

Summer vacation may be officially over, but picture-perfect Upper Newport Bay invites you to Baycation all year round, right in your own backyard. Click here for invitation.

Ecology Career Club & Explorer Post

NBC has formed a high school Ecology Career Club and Explorer Post at UpperNewportBay. Exploring (http://www.ocexploring.org) is part of the Learning for Life career education program for young men and women who are 14/15 through 20 years old. Exploring’s purpose is to provide experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Explorers are ready to investigate the meaning of interdependence in their personal relationships and communities. 

Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. Local community organizations initiate an Explorer post by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community.


Special Event

Free Concert:
OC in Unison
Beyond Land and Ocean
Friday, September 25, 2015
Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center
Outdoor Patio
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

After touring the county and receiving over 300 artistic submissions about what makes Orange County home and what unites people, Pacific Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence Narong Prangcharoen has written an anthem for the community. Attend a free preview event performed by a Pacific Symphony string quartet, along with an interactive program that explores their relationship between music and home. Click here for a flyer.


Summer Symposium

Invasive Species and their Impacts
in and Around Newport Bay
Saturday, August 1st
Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center
Presentations from 9-noon followed by a light lunch, field trips and work parties
$8 students/members, $15 non-members
Eventbrite - Invasive Species and their Impacts in and Around Newport Bay
Invasive species are those non-native species of plants and animals that are successfully colonizing new areas, often negatively impacting native species. A new one arrives about every 60 days in California, and in the U.S. there are about 50,000 of them, causing environmental damage and losses amounting to over $100 billion per year. In this symposium hear about many of these invasive species, their impacts on local ecosystems, and the efforts being undertaken to remove them.

Special Events

Call for Proposals:
Research Mini-grants
As part of our commitment to science-based management of the protected tidelands and uplands associated with Newport Bay, the Newport Bay Conservancy is pleased to announce the availability of mini-grants of up to $1000 to support research that will increase our understanding of any aspect of Newport Bay. Funds are available for actual research costs, typically including equipment, supplies and services. Submit your proposal for a research grant to support a one-year project related to Newport Bay by July 15, 2015.  For more information, visit our page on Sponsored Research.

Plein Air Art Show and Display Sale
C0ming to the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center Saturday, July 18 through Sunday, July 19. Hundreds of original paintings exhibited daily, 10-4 p.m. Plein Air Artists plant their easels throughout nature, capturing beautiful scenes and the natural heritage of Southern California. Working in the open air allows these artists to duplicate the unique colors and light effects that can only be seen when the artist paints under an open sky. A portion of the sales benefit NBC. Ages 7–12 can participate in free art classes each day. For more information, visit our page on Plein Air Art.