As we strive to protect and preserve the Upper Newport Bay, we continue to foster a culture in which every visitor, volunteer, member, and employee feels respected, valued, and supported. Toward this end, we welcome and seek to provide access to people across many categories of difference: of race/ethnicity/color, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, religion, migratory status, ability, political affiliation, and socioeconomic background.
In light of these commitments, we have established a special committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—open to all board members, volunteers, staff, and NBC members. To read about NBC’s DEI plans, click here.
Native Roots and Branches
We acknowledge that our work takes place on the ancestral lands of native peoples, original inhabitants and stewards of this territory. We respect their continuing connection to these lands and waters.
Land acknowledgements—more and more common in the public statements of universities and non-profit organizations—are important recognitions of the presence of Indigenous peoples across North America. But they are only one step. Newport Bay Conservancy works toward fuller understanding of the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples to the Upper Newport Bay. To learn more about how NBC recognizes and connects with native peoples of our region, click here.
Serving Diverse Populations through Educational Programs
NBC has served students from Title 1 schools for over a decade. Title 1, established by the US Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, offers assistance to schools in which at least 40% of the students can be considered low-income.
We bring elementary school students from all over Orange County to the Muth Interpretive Center for tours and educational activities. At least half of the schools we serve in these programs are private and thus do not list a Title 1 status, but they often have diverse student populations. In the 2018-19 school year, NBC hosted around 350 students in these programs.
High school students enjoy our Outrigger Tours, operated out of the Newport Aquatic Center. This program introduces students to the ecology of the Back Bay and includes a land-based component with hands-on experience in water quality testing procedures. NBC has served sixteen Title 1 schools in this program since 2016, seven of which have been fully funded through a Boating and Waterways grant since 2018. In 2019, we hosted 439 Title 1 students.
Our newest educational offering, Fostering Interest in Nature (FiiN), was created in collaboration with the City of Newport Beach and the California Coastal Commission. This free program brings fifth graders to Camp James at Newport Dunes for a 4-day, overnight nature camp. Camp activities teach ecological principles, conservation, marine science, biology, and water safety. In its first year (2019), FiiN served over 300 students, all from Title 1 schools.
View a recording of one of our Diversity lectures.
Join one of our monthly reading group discussions
Read an insightful essay by our Board President, Kimberly Bick, on how we should think of Earth Day differently through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion: “Environmental Parity and Outdoor Equity” in Orange County Lawyer, April 2021.