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Motorized boats are not allowed past North Beach where the Newport Aquatic Center is located. Only the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), law enforcement, or those with a State-issued access letter can enter the Reserve on motorized boats. Canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards can go to the upper bay up to the boat limit but must remain in the wide main channel. All side channels are closed to boats and paddlers to protect sensitive habitats and species. Please refer to map for boat limit information.

UNBER Boating Limits (358.0 KB)

Marine Protected Area (MPA)

California's coast and ocean are among our most treasured resources. The productivity, wildness, and beauty found here is central to California's identity, heritage, and economy. The need to safeguard the long-term health of California's marine life was recognized by the California Legislature in 1999 with the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act. This Act aims to protect California’s marine natural heritage through establishing a statewide network of marine protected areas (MPAs) designed, created, and managed using sound science and stakeholder input.

MPAs protect the diversity and abundance of marine life, the habitats they depend on, and the integrity of marine ecosystems. The Marine Life Protection Act recognizes that a combination of MPAs with varied amounts of allowed activities and protections (marine reserves, marine conservation areas, and marine parks) can help conserve biological diversity, provide a sanctuary for marine life, and enhance recreational and educational opportunities. MPAs can also provide scientific reference points to assist with resource management decisions, and protect a variety of marine habitats, communities, and ecosystems for their economic and intrinsic value, for generations to come.

Upper Newport Bay is part of a MPA, specifically a State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA).