No matter what your mom's into, there's a sustainable gift for her this Mother's Day. Check out these eco-friendly gift ideas that are practical, sustainable and exactly what will put a smile on her face.
The Wine Connoisseur
Treat mom with a pair of updated stemless, recycled wine glasses to cross her love of grapes and love of the environment. Then, fill 'em up with a certified-sustainable wine. If you're mom is an adventurer, check out Casquare Wines, which have unique packaging that save on their carbon emissions in every shipment!
So many moms just want to spend time and share experiences with you! Why not check out Groupon for local activities, participate in an adventure class with REI, or join us at ROOTS event? The memories you capture with her will be everlasting and worth 1000 words (or more).
Ms. Flower Power
We all know sustainable flowers aren't the most sustainable option, but if you know that's one gift she can't do without, choose Bouqs. They're "Farm to Table" flowers are cut the day you order and are shipped from their farm partners for long-lasting flowers. Their partners practice sustainable, eco-friendly farming and only cut what they sell. That way, they don't waste 1 out of every 3 stems like others.
The Vintage Trendsetter
If your mom is thrift, and crafty, why not take note and find her a unique, one-of-kind gift from a local thrift store? Local consignment shops have vintage items that simply aren't found at department stores. Trust us, she'll love that you took to her lifestyle and put a little thought into Mother's Day this year!
And for those of you that like to shop around online, hop onto Etsy and support local artisans while you find a unique, environmentally-friendly gift for Mom. It's easy to find items that are made from reclaimed materials and close by, minimizing your carbon footprint!
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.
Our 5 senses - sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste - connect us with our surrounding world. The more we engage them with our experience, the stronger the memories we create and the more we understand the world we live in. With our senses we can get to know our environment on a deeper, more personal level.
Many researchers have been interested in the increased awareness and perceptiveness of people when they're in nature. Perhaps this is due to our senses being more fully engaged. When in the natural environment, you never know what you'll see. It's fluid, yet unpredictable. Your senses have more to take in when you're in the natural environment, and we many not understand the true benefits.
The next time you're with us in the Upper Newport Bay, discover the benefits for yourself. Here are a few tips to get your 5 senses getting to know the Upper Newport Bay:
Every ecosystem is unique and need people like you to help protect it. That's why there are volunteer organizations that make it easy for you to get involved!
When you volunteer your time to restore the environment, everyone benefits, including YOU!
Develop a community
The volunteers you meet become your team and circle of friends. We sweat, we laugh, we plant and many other things together. It's easy to make friends when we're having together.
Learn new (and proper) techniques
Removing invasive plant species, planting native plants and transplanting in a nursery may be new to you. That's okay! Or maybe it's not. That's okay, too! Our trained environmental leaders and staff members are there to assist you and lead the way, but ideas and experiences are exchanged from everyone.
Become a local expert
When you volunteer in and for the environment, you're surrounded by the natural ecology. You learn first-hand about the native plant species and wildlife. From red-tail hawks and Ospreys to rabbits, lizards and coastal sage scrub, you'll walk away with a new vocabulary and way of viewing your community.
Join CBREP today to start your newest adventure and preserve your local environment!
It's your first time in the field for restoration. Maybe it's your millionth time. You know the value of your backpack is beyond words. It is your ultimate lifeline. When your in the dirt planting natives or removing invasives, what are you going to do when you're no where near a sip water and it's in the middle of summer?
For better or for worse, we've been there. We know how easy it can be to forget the details, so we put our heads together and made a list of THE most important things we wouldn't want anyone to forget!
Here it goes:
1. Water Bottle - Hydration is key to being the field. Water is life.
2. Hand Tools - Prepare for adventure. And dirt.
3. Gloves - Safety first.
4. First Aid Kit - Small cuts or sharp branches are sometime unavoidable. Gloves may not be enough.
5. Binoculars - The best part of field work are the views. Whether you're into wildlife, birds or geology, you don't want to limit yourself to the naked eye. Allow yourself to experience nature a little farther...
6. Magnifying Glass(es) - Or a little closer.
7. Field guides - Now you can see that you can see clearly, what are you looking at?
8. Notepad, Pen & Pencil - Take note your of experience. Collect data. Make it memorable.
9. Hand sanitizer - A quick cleanup is always ideal before you head back to reality. The clip on sanitizers have been the most handy.
10. Space - Take not to pack your back completely full. Not only will it be challenging to carry, but it may actually be helpful to leave extra space for clipboard, data sheets or other related equipment from your journey.
And there you have it. Check this list before every outing and let us know how it works for you.
Thank you all for restoring your communities and thank you, Patagonia, for supplying our program with such fantastic backpacks!
Soil chemistry can seem foreign and obscure compared to our every day, on-the-ground restoration work. Because we collect soil samples two times each year, many miss out on the fun of joining soil chemistry research.
Today, we'll give you a fun sample and (hopefully) speak to your curiosity.
3 Reasons to Love Soil Chemistry
Instead of binoculars and magnifying glasses, we use meters and filters to observe and improve our habitat. We look beyond the view of the naked eye and explore the foundation of our site.
When we envision the future of our site - the wildlife and the plants that sustain them - we can envision the chemistry that should be occurring underground.
As we work for our ultimate goal of recreating a self-sustaining ecosystem, we make amendments to our soils and adjustments to our plant palette as needed. In this way, we are continually improving our methods and techniques in ecological restoration.
If this was a kick start to your soil chemistry experience, contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved!
Seeds or Seedlings?
CBREP, UCI's Center of Environmental Biology and Chapman University joined forces to tackle a two-pronged research project. Driven by limited resources, limited funding and diminishing native habitat in southern California, this collaboration aims to dispel (1) the effectiveness of community-based restoration and (2) uncover the most cost effective planting method - seeds or seedlings? The results will assist NGOs, ecologists and others performing habitat restoration to accomplish more with less.
Last Saturday (2.20.16) was the first event open to the community volunteers to partake in this new habitat restoration study. Divided into two study groups and a control group, each of the 32 volunteers were assigned one of three tasks: seeding, planting or control. The groups will participate in the same group, once per month until the end of the study in June.
In addition to being a part of scientific research, volunteers were are provided the opportunity to learn about the cultural and natural history of the Upper Newport Bay, local vegetation and techniques of ecological restoration.
Join us for our next event!
On Thursday, September 4, we enjoyed a pleasant evening celebrating the many volunteers who make such a difference in the restoration, education, and advocacy programs of the Upper Newport Bay (see photos below). Each year, the Community-Based Restoration and Education Program, Newport Bay Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Orange County Parks, and City of Newport Beach highlight all the contributions made by volunteers to their programs. This year, we welcomed nearly 100 volunteers and staff people for the celebration. As was noted during the event, most of the programs that benefit the bay couldn't take place without our wonderful volunteers.
To all of our Upper Newport Bay volunteers, we thank you for all that you do!
We are also very grateful for the donors to our event including the Newport Beach Marriott Bayview for providing our delicious entree (chicken piccata over angel hair pasta) as well as Starbucks for providing coffee (and a Starbucks partner who served at the event). Additional support was provided by Trader Joe's, Target, and Ralph's grocery store.
(Thanks to Shayna Foreman of the City of Newport Beach for the following report.)
On July 2nd, the City of Newport Beach hosted shark biologist, Dr. Chris Lowe, as part of the Orange County Natural History Lecture Series. Dr. Lowe is a popular and award-winning Professor of Marine Biology at CSU Long Beach, where he runs the CSULB Shark Lab. He and his students use acoustic and satellite telemetry techniques to study the movement, behavior, and physiology of sharks, rays, and gamefishes. Although July is typically one of our lowest-attended months, Dr. Lowe drew a crowd of over 50 listeners (attracting them like sharks to chum, one could say!). He fascinated visitors with a history of commercial fishing techniques and regulations and, with a refreshingly optimistic spin, presented the positive impacts of improved management practices and environmental standards on the populations of apex marine predators. He showed some fantastic photos of baby white sharks off the coast of southern California! While it is heartening to hear that we are seeing some improvements in ecosystem function here in California, we still have a long way to go, both at home and across the globe.
The Orange County Natural History Lecture Series takes place at the Back Bay Science Center, from 7 to 9 pm, on the first Wednesday of each month except December. August features Dr. Karen McLaughlin, of SCCWRP, speaking on ocean acidification. Reserve space at this FREE event by emailing email@example.com.
(Photos and story by Melissa Ward, Restoration Coordinator, Community-Based Restoration and Education Program)
Our regular pair of ospreys have had three chicks this year on the nest platform adjacent to the Back Bay Science Center- their 9th year of nesting. This year, the chicks turned out to be two females and one male, and hatched about five weeks ago. Last week, a raptor biologist (pictured above) donned his harness and hockey mask to climb the post and band the chicks. Despite the flybys and calls from a protesting parent, the chicks were banded quickly and successfully and placed back into the nest. Each band on the chicks’ legs has a unique number, so if the birds are observed or found injured or dead later, they can then be correctly identified.
The chicks are popping their heads up and flapping their wings more frequently now, and are very entertaining to watch! If you want to come out and see them for yourself before they leave the nest, come by the Back Bay Science Center on Sundays from 10am to 2pm for our Community Days and take a look through our binoculars or spotting scopes. Don’t miss out on the fun!
Many thanks to Faye Creedon of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for submitting this report on the latest Marine Life Inventory:
Our latest Marine Life Inventory (MLI) was held on February 1, 2014. We had a great group of students from Riverside Community College who got to experience a variety of hands on sampling methods. After a very informative introduction led by Dave Meyer, the large group of students was split in to three smaller groups, each group rotated through different stations.
One station is the bottom trawl where students climb aboard the skiff and head out on the water. A plankton tow and bottom trawl net are deployed and dragged for 5 minutes, during this time they learn about the importance of phytoplankton as well as the dynamics of the food web. Once the skiff returns to the dock the students get to examine what they’ve caught in the bottom trawl. They measure, count and release every animal that is caught. For the month of February we did not see as many bass as we do during the spring and summer months. We did however collect two round sting rays, three dorid nudibranchs and three navanax nudibranchs.
The second station is the touch tank and trail walk. Students get to touch a variety of invertebrates and even sharks! They learned about the different types of animals that are found in tide pools and their amazing adaptations in dealing with desiccation, solar radiation, wave action and predation. During the trail walk they learn about native plants, they learn about special relationships plants can have with insects and how during the dry season they are deciduous. They also learn about the salt marsh plants and their ability to live in brackish waters. Our trail leads right to the osprey nest which gives students an opportunity to learn about birds of prey while observing one up close.
The third station is the mud grab station. Students each get the opportunity to use a mud grabbing tool to extract samples from underneath our dock. Once they have completed their collection they use their hands to sort through the mud collecting as many small invertebrates as they can. After cleaning their mud samples the students observe their collection through a microscope projector. They examine each organism that was found and learn an array of interesting facts about the mud and the animals that live within it. For example, several brittle stars were caught in the mud grab. Brittle stars are very delicate echinoderms, being extremely sensitive to pollution and poor water quality. When a brittle star is found (as it was in the mud adjacent to the dock at the Back Bay Science Center), it means that the habitat it was in is healthy.
Although the tide was not favorable for our final station, the beach seine, all in all it was a successful MLI and we are excited to see how the collection data changes in the coming months!