What is Defend The Bay?

Defend The Bay is a non-profit Newport Beach-based environmental organization dedicated to the protection of Newport Bay and coastal waters in Orange County. Founded in 1995, Defend The Bay employs a unique mix of education, science, and law as tools to preserve and protect Orange County’s heritage and crown environmental jewels. Thousands of supporters make it possible for Defend The Bay to successfully litigate and advocate on behalf of Newport Bay and coastal waters.

Independent Professionals for a Clean Bay

Defend The Bay is fiercely independent — we take NO contributions from sewage plants, big developers, or others whose interests are different than ours. We are scrupulous professionals, working with some of the best-trained and most experienced scientists and lawyers in the country. Come to a local meeting or hearing. We’re the ones wearing suits.

TV, Science and the Law. 

You may have seen the television show, "Make a Difference", which takes a look at people who are protecting our environmental heritage. You may have heard about our sponsorship of scientific studies on pressing contamination problems in Newport Bay. You may have read about our legal victories in the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, or The Daily Pilot.

Our accomplishments: Defend The Bay scored its first major victory in 1995 when we defeated a proposed permit to dump wastewater from a sewage plant into Newport Bay. The need to protect our Bay and ocean have not given us much time to rest. Since then we’ve been busy . . .

Establishing a joint project with one of the Nation’s leading environmental groups, the National Resources Defense Council;

Completing a scientific review of clean-up options for Newport Bay;

Convincing the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt long-overdue limits on pesticides and toxics;

Obtaining a precedential decision from the State of California protecting Crystal Cove’s exquisite marine waters from toxic runoff pollution;

Winning major legal cases against two of the most powerful local interests, the Irvine Company and the Irvine Ranch Water District -- victories that a local paper called an "uncanny string of legal victories. . . ";

Debunking the efforts of some to use junk science to justify doing little to solve worsening conditions at local beaches;

Strengthening Clean Water Act permits that limit urban runoff -- that witches’ brew of pathogens, oil, grease, toxics, and pesticides that foul local waters year round.


154 square miles to protect -- a whole State to Cover

The Newport Bay watershed is big, and it is a lot of territory to cover. But Defend The Bay knows that making good policy requires involvement in issues around the State. A good decision in San Diego can be used to protect Newport Bay. And a bad one in Sacramento . . . well, you get the picture.

That’s why Defend The Bay’s staff works in the halls of the Capitol, at EPA headquarters in San Francisco, and wherever things are happening that affect our watershed.

Independence - Education - Science - Law.

If you like our approach—or if you are impressed by our unmatched track record, please consider joining our team.

Send us your contact information and we will keep you informed and let you know how you can get involved in protecting the Bay and the Ocean . . . truly Orange County’s heritage.

We invite you to contact us for more information.

4101 Birch Street, Suite 150
Newport Beach, California 92660
Tel. (949)757-0017