Newport Bay Conservancy traces its heritage back to 1967 when a group of citizens, including Frank and Frances Robinson, founded the Friends of Newport Bay to call attention to the ecological importance of the Bay and to enlist broad support for the retention and protection of the Bay in its relatively natural state. This group was at the forefront of environmental education, conducting monthly nature tours at the Bay starting in late 1968. More than 40 years later Friends Tours are still given by us on the second Saturday morning of each month from October to March.
This 90-minute tour is free. Bring sun protection and binoculars if you have them. Meet at the Vista Point lookout at the corner of Eastbluff and Back Bay Drive where you will join a Naturalist who will lead you on a tour between outdoor “classrooms” set up along Back Bay Drive. Tours depart from the lookout at 9:00, 9:30 and 10:00 AM. Round-trip distance in a little under a mile.
The first tour of the 2012/13 winter season is on Saturday, November 10, 2012.
Reservations are not required.
Please call (949) 923- 2269 for information.
The current tour format is geared towards the local community college audience and serves as a useful adjunct to life science, marine biology and earth science classes. At the same time it provides an intense but easily understandable overview of the ecology and history of Upper Newport Bay for the general public. Tour stations and topics include:
Coastal Sage Scrub
Riparian and Freshwater Marsh
Fish Species and Adaptation
Plankton and Algae
Rock Formation at the Bay
Changes Since the Last Ice Age
Major Geologic Structures
The escorting tour guide provides additional commentary on history and advocacy during the walk between stations.