Clean Ups

Take our #TrashTalkChallenge 

Trash and pollution is the most modern threat to the health of Newport Bay.  Trash, including plastic and polystyrene, threaten wildlife.  Most of the items that pollute the Bay come from all areas of our watershed.  A watershed is an area of land that sheds water to the lowest point (usually sea level) during a rain event.  Water flows through a watershed in natural rivers, creeks, and streams and through manmade storm channels and drainage pipes.  When rain or run-off flows, it carries with it anything in its path delivering straight to Upper Newport Bay through the Santa Ana Delhi Channel or the San Diego Creek (as well as other drainage sites around the Bay).  Common pollutants include fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, animal/human waste, oil and car debris, as well as trash.


What you can do:  Help us to protect the Bay and coast with these steps of action.

  • Keep your car in good maintenance.  Repair leaks and contain oil drippings in a pan to be disposed of properly.  Use biodegradable and phosphate free products when cleaning your car and carpool or use public transportation whenever possible.
  • Use environmentally friendly products in and around your home.  Using pesticides to treat for insects and rodents can enter the water and food web and harm wildlife living in and around the Bay.  Inorganic fertilizers can contain elements that when in excess, can create harmful algal blooms in coastal aquatic systems which can kill aquatic and marine animals.
  • Pick up after your pet!  Dog and cat waste can carry domestic diseases and parasites to marine life as well as contaminate swimming areas with bacteria that make us all sick when consumed.
  • Report dumping or illegal disposal of waste or chemicals to your local officials.
  • REFUSE the use of single use items, REDUCE the waste you create in your home, REUSE items over again and make repairs to avoid disposal, and RECYCLE items once they need to be disposed.  If an item can’t be recycled, then refuse it’s use!
  • Participate in one of our clean-up events!


Clean-up Events:  (*public volunteer events in the Bay are currently on hold due to covid-19)

  • Take our Trash Talk Challenge and pick up in your neighborhood!
    • Watch our webinar from Coastal Cleanup 2020.
    • Wear some gloves, and grab a bucket or bag, and start picking up in public areas that you know and frequently use.  Here are some tips to stay safe:
      • Go with a partner and stay in areas that you are familiar with.  For example: local park, neighborhood, parking lot, schools, public beaches, etc.
      • Avoid low-lit areas or private property.
      • Use gloves, hand sanitizer, and properly wash after cleaning up.
      • Wear facial covering when in the presence of others that you do not live with (for covid-19).
      • Dispose of trash in an outdoor receptacle.
    • Talk some extra trash and make it a fundraiser!  Convince friends and family to pledge $1 for every gallon of trash that you collect and make a donation to NBC using paypal!

    *Coastal Cleanup Day- is our largest annual public cleanup event.  Usually hosted on the second Saturday every September, NBC and OC Parks hosts opportunities to clean up trash around the Bay.

  • *Kayak Cleanups- Volunteer your service to participate in a high tide cleanup from a kayak.  Groups can work together to pick up trash in the wetlands before it reaches the ocean.  Contact Heather Cieslak at for more information.
  • *2nd and 4th Sunday Cleanups.  Work with NBC naturalists to clean up on land around the Bay.