Natural Resources

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All community Centers closed until further notice.

All beaches are closed this holiday weekend, July 4 and July 5.

For more information on the closures please see these Frequently Asked Questions. 

When visiting our beaches and tidepools, please follow agency health safety while also adhering to guidelines normally required by the City and State. Important guidelines to know include: no removing or collecting from any tidepools within Marine Protected Areas (any beaches south of and including Corona Del Mar State Beach, as well as the Upper Newport Bay); fishing licenses are required by the State of California to fish in most locations (please see official State regulations for specific rules); and fishing is allowed only from designated areas on shore along the Newport Back Bay - no fishing of vessels (north of PCH).

Thank you for your help in maintaining a healthy ecosystem for all to enjoy.

Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area 

Big Corona and the southern coves of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are considered a Marine Protected Area. There is ABSOLUTELY NO COLLECTING of animals, shells or rocks from the tidepools of these protected areas. For more information, visit

Marine Protection & Education Contact Information:
Derek Breaux, Coordinator
949-644-3036 | 

If you have a group that is interested in visiting the tidepools, please call 949-644-3036 or email to schedule your visit.


Fostering interest in Nature (FiiN) Program will be back in 2021

The Recreation & Senior Services Department is currently overseeing the inaugural year of Fostering interest in Nature (FiiN) program! FiiN hosted its first class of thirty-five fifth graders from February 19-22, kicking off the 10-week season that will host 350 Title 1 students from Orange County for a four day, three-night science camp. Students get to experience camping in tents, tide pool exploration at Back Bay Science Center, hiking the educational trails in Big Canyon, water safety with our lifeguards, a boat tour of the harbor, and trying their hand at kayaking in the scenic and history-rich Newport Back Bay.

FiiN is set to run for the next 10 years, thanks to funds made available by the City of Newport Beach and the Lido House Hotel project. For many of the students, this is their first visit to the beach in addition to the unique hands on activities we have planned for them. With an emphasis on marine ecology and the natural history of the Back Bay, the program promises to provide an outdoor experience they will never forget, and at the same time foster stewards of our precious resources.

Special thanks to the many partners that are integral to the operation of the program, including Camp James, the Newport Bay Conservancy, the Newport Dunes, and multiple City of Newport Beach departments! Keep an eye out on our social media pages for more pictures and information on the FiiN program! Contact us at 949-644-3036 for more information 


FiiN 3
FiiN 2
 FiiN 1
FIIN Logo-Flat copy 2



Western Snowy Plover 

The Western Snowy Plover (Plover) is a small shorebird that can be found along the Pacific Coast from Baja California to Washington. Since 1993, the Polver has been listed as a "threatened" species and is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  A population of Plover’s live and nest on the Balboa Peninsula, between B Street and the Wedge (a distance of over one mile), for a majority of the year.

Under the ESA, the area between B Street to G Street, is designated a “critical habitat” area by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).Critical habitat “is a term in the ESA that identifies geographic areas containing features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species, and which may require special management considerations or protection” (USFWS).

Management and protection of the critical habitat area is an important part of the USFWS’s recovery plan that aims to increase the Plover’s population and meet specific criteria to one day remove them from the endangered species list. Learn more about the City's efforts to manage the Newport Beach Western Snowy Plovers critical habitat area.


Other Programs 

  • Tidepool Exploration  
  • Coastal Cleanup Day
  • Monthly Marine Protected Area Hikes
  • Fostering Interest in Nature (FIiN) Program-Coming Spring 2019
  • Field Trips

Programs and activities are weather and tide dependent. Make sure you check the tides before you head out to explore. Conditions vary from day to day. Check tide conditions in the local newspaper or get tides and weather conditions online. Remember, the lower the tide, the better your experience.

Both of the photos shown below were taken mid-afternoon on different days.

  • Tidepooling in the afternoon in the photo on the right may lead to some excellent discoveries and seeing cool creatures.
  • Tidepooling on the afternoon in the photo on the left will most likely lead to a wet (and possible dangerous) trip with very little to see.

 Here is a sample of the same beach at low tide and high tide.

Low Tide


High Tide

Little Corona Beach at High Tide

  Little Corona Beach at Low Tide


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