Located in Newport Beach, CA on Shellmaker Island, off of Back Bay Drive and next to the Newport Dunes. This facility provides year-round educational programs emphasizing estuarine and marine ecology; connecting these concepts to the greater watershed. Over 750 thousand people (approximately the total population of Alaska) live in this watershed, which incorporates nine densely populated and urbanized cities. Pollutants from these urban areas funnel down through the Back Bay estuary and out to the Pacific Ocean. The Back Bay Science Center strives towards educating local citizens, particularly future generations, on the critical role they play in their watershed. Our goal is for people to understand what specific activities they should or should not do at home that will help protect the Back Bay.


The mission of the Back Bay Science Center is to provide a hands-on facility where students and the public can study and enjoy the estuarine ecology of Newport Bay, and the marine ecology of the ocean, while promoting natural resource conservation and stewardship throughout the watershed.

Visiting the Back Bay Science Center

The Back Bay Science Center is a gated education and research facility. It is only open to groups who have registered for a specific fieldtrip, function, or workshop.  The facility is not a Visitor's Center, like our close neighbors The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center . However, we are open to the public on Sundays from 10 AM until 2 PM for our Community Day. For more information click here Community Day

For more information about educational programs hosted at the Back Bay Science Center,  click here Education