The Back Bay Science Center - a partnership between the City of Newport Beach, the County of Orange, the California Department of Fish and Game, and the University of California, Irvine – operated out of temporary buildings since opening in the early 1980s. Its new, permanent facilityopened in 2008 and is comprised of four buildings that total approximately 12,400 square feet. Located within a state ecological reserve, a protected area set aside for fish and wildlife, the center includes a state-of-the-art water quality testing laboratory and educational facility. The facility offers coordinated programs targeting 7th-12th grade students, and offer research opportunities to college level students. Occasionally, there are opportunities where the public can get involved as well, such as the monthly Marine Life Inventories.
In addition to the funding provided by the four partners mentioned above, generous contributors to the $8 million center include: The Irvine Company, Miocean Foundation, State Coastal Conservancy, Pacific Life and the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends.
The mission of the BBSC is to provide a hands-on facility where students and the public can study and enjoy the estuarine ecology of Newport Bay including marine ecology of the ocean, and promote natural resource conservation and stewardship throughout the watershed. More than 10,000 students and visitors participate in the center’s tours and programs each year.
The Back Bay Science Center is located at 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach, CA.