BBSC Activities:

Programs and activities vary in schedule depending on the season.

School Field Trips, Summer Camps, Coastal Clean-up Day, Estuary Awareness Day, Teacher Workshops, Public Programs, Community-based Restoration & Education Programs, Marine Life Inventories, Volunteering, College Internships, Research Projects & Discovering Estuaries-ISOpod program.

To schedule an educational program or workshop at the Back Bay Science Center, a facility usage request form is required. Please click here for additional information.

School Programs

The Back Bay Science Center is highly dedicated to educating the students and public of Orange County about our coastal resources, especially the Upper Newport Bay. As a step towards this goal, many educational opportunities are offered on Shellmaker Island and throughout the bay. With few exceptions such as scout troups, the Science Center focuses on 7th grade through college age students for school programs. Our neighbor, the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center concentrates on toddlers through third grade students for school programs. Both facilities offer many programs for the general public. Please find the various school program opportunities throughout several organizations below.


Many of the education programs on the island are lead by Department staff with the help of volunteers from the Newport Bay Conservancy. Programs involve several learning stations including an investigation of plankton, animals living in the mud, the watershed, birds and water quality. Please call 949-640-9956 for more info.


The California Coastal Commission coordinates education and restoration programs around the bay to help restore native plants. Matt Yurko is the full-time program coordinator, his email is The educational program is called Our Wetlands, Our World


The Newport Bay Conservancy have been conducting school field trips at Upper Newport Bay on behalf of the California Department of Fish and Game and Orange County Parks for more than ten years.

Shark Mobile (Now called, DISCOVERING ESTUARIES)

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has partnered with the City of Newport Beach and the Newport Bay Conservancy to provide mobile outreach programs through one vehicle which has been named the ISOpod. ISOpod stands for Interactive Sealife Outreach pod and it will be offering a variety of programs. Discovering Estuaries (formerly known as the Sharkmobile) will be offering 12 outreach programs to Title I schools this year. If you fall under this category, please call 949.640.9959 for more information and/or to reserve a spot. For more information, please visit