The Back Bay Science Center (BBSC) conducts a monthly monitoring program called Marine Life Inventory. This program, which is supported by Newport Bay Conservancy, involves local students and adults in surveying the marine life and the physical environment of Upper Newport Bay. It provides those involved with hands-on experience with local marine fish and invertebrates. Participants rotate through three sampling programs: a bottom trawl to survey benthic fish and invertebrates that live in the middle of the bay; a beach seine to survey near shore organisms; and a mud/plankton survey of invertebrates living in the mud and the microscopic plants and animals living in the bay. Data is entered into a database which can be downloaded as an Excel file. Marine researchers and educators can look at seasonal and long-term trends in fish and invertebrate abundance and/or water quality. BBSC staff also perform phytoplankton research.