Volunteering the Way to a Cleaner Bay

July 10, 2014

​Hidden in the City of Newport Beach, CA lies a place of vast natural beauty, the Upper Newport Bay, commonly referred to as the “Back Bay.”

Many people come to the bay year round to enjoy biking, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, or simply to appreciate the scenic sunrises and sunsets over its serene waters. Back Bay also plays a major role in the local ecosystem, serving as the largest of only a few remaining natural estuaries in Southern California. Unfortunately, storm water runoff deposits trash and other less obvious pollutants, including bacteria, selenium, and sediment, ultimately degrade the quality of the estuary.

Over the past five years, volunteers from the RBF Good Works Committee have participated in hands-on restoration of the Back Bay through the ROOTS event. ROOTS consists of removing invasive plants, planting and irrigating native plants, and providing trail maintenance and rehabilitation to improve the integrity and sustainability of the bay. This year, volunteers helped remove over 1,000 pounds of invasive plants while also irrigating over 3,000 recently planted native plants.