Mayor, Diane Brooks Dixon & Boeing Volunteers
On Saturday, July 23, 2016, sixty Boeing and community volunteers descended upon the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve with sleeves rolled up and gloves in hand, ready to put in a morning of hard labor. The Mayor of Newport Beach, Diane Brooks Dixon, gave opening remarks and thanked volunteers for giving back to the community.
Boeing Volunteers participated in hand-watering 1500 newly planted native species in three areas of the Preserve. It is important to nurture new and existing native plants in the Preserve so that the endangered animals calling this place home can thrive.
Upper Newport Bay has 13 different habitats and 21 distinct plant communities supporting life at the estuary. Preservation and restoration is crucial in supporting biodiversity. Non-native plants are often invasive and can overrun native plant species which support multitudes of organisms that rely on them for nesting, shelter and food. Habitat restoration and preservation projects including invasive plant removal, seedling and native planting, nesting preparation, predator control, trail maintenance and coastal clean-up are a few of the projects volunteers engaged in throughout the year.
Upper Newport Bay is the largest of only a few remaining natural estuaries in Southern California and an important rest stop or home to migrating birds, up to 30,000 can be seen daily in winter months. This wetland ecosystem in the Pacific Flyway is home to 200 species of birds, including several endangered and threatened species such as the California Gnatcatcher, Light-Footed Clapper Rail, and the Belding's Savannah Sparrow. The area is highly urbanized and critical habitat must be restored in order to protect the ecosystem.
During the Global Month of Service, Boeing and community volunteers also assembled and painted compost bins and bird boxes to be donated to Orange County schools in underserved communities with existing garden or with plans to install a new garden through an ITOF service-learning project. Along with the compost bins and bird boxes, Inside the Outdoors Foundation will provide education and guidance to students and teachers on the importance of composting as part of the 5 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Rot, Repurpose, and Recycle. The Boeing Company donated materials and supplies, as well as volunteers who contributed 180 volunteer hours to the preservation of habitat at the Upper Newport Bay.
Volunteers hand-water 1500 native plant species
Building compost bin for low-income schools
Decorated bird boxes will be donated to shcools