Born in 1970, Earth Day is a celebration of the environment and promise to raise public awareness about the impacts of human pollution. This Earth Day, we're taking an extra special moment to celebrate our local environment and invite the community to join the movement of ecological protection and preservation.
As a community of families, students, neighbors, and colleagues, we've seen a lot of change over the last 15 years at the Upper Newport Bay. Not only has our work resulted in a hidden jewel of Newport Beach, but has grown an engaging and passionate group of followers. It was through collaboration, camaraderie and hard work that we are able to reflect on many rewarding memories.
With our collaborators, California Coastal Commission, California Fish and Wildlife, City of Newport Beach, Newport Bay Conservancy, ICRE, Chapman University, University of California - Irvine, Saddleback College and several others, countless acres have been restored with vitality. Many of these habitats would have survived without such teamwork and intervention.
It is through the service of our community volunteers who bring heart and dedication all throughout the year that true life is brought to the Upper Newport Bay. With over 65,000 hours of service since 2002, we know that our community cares about its future.
To join the legacy, come to an event or donate to our program as we increase our capacity for new programs and opportunities that benefit the Upper Newport Bay and create an unforgettable experience for you!
The Ecology Club is our weekly program where we teach high school students about local ecological issues. Today, we made oyster bags out of burlap sacks to restore habitat for the Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida). We fill these bags with oyster shells, providing oyster larvae the rocky substrate that they need to settle and grow.
Oysters play an important role in aquatic ecosystems. They filter water providing high water quality and stabilizing sediments to counteract shoreline erosion. We want to thank our volunteers from Estancia High School and Orange County Coastkeeper for their phenomenal work here in the Upper Newport Bay.
Learn more about other Olympia oyster restoration efforts in California here, or for extra expert knowledge, check out this highly cited, research publication. We look forward to seeing you next time for more ecological restoration techniques and stewardship.