'Anybody can help the environment'

April 22, 2001

Stefanie Frith

Fix all car leaks. Use kitty litter when you spill hazardous

materials. Bring your own cup to the coffee shop. Reduce, reuse and


When Douglas Bader started the Newport Beach Bike the Back Bay Earth

Day Celebration 12 years ago, these were only some of the ideas he had in

order to help the environment.


Today, Bader is still pushing the idea that anybody can help the

environment. That theme was one of many at the 12th annual Earth Day

Celebration that took place Saturday at Shellmaker Island near the

Newport Beach Back Bay.

About 1,000 people braved the chilly, windy weather to come to the

free event, which was hosted by the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends;

the Orange County Harbors, Beaches and Parks; and the California

Department of Fish and Game.

This year, Ocean Discovery Day was combined with Earth Day, a

nationally recognized event that began in 1970 as a way of raising

awareness about environmental responsibility. Earth Day will be

celebrated across the nation today.

"Anybody can help the environment," said Bader, as his wife, Elizabeth

Edwards, danced around in a bright green can with the words, "Anybody

Can" printed on it.

"I dream . . . of a time when the next generation doesn't have to fear

going into the water," he said. "I think the words 'Earth Day' are in

association with something that people crave. They want to know what to


Patty Leedom-Martin is one person who said she definitely wants to

help the environment. She has been bringing her family to the Earth Day

celebration in Newport Beach for six years because she feels that they

are learning something valuable while having a good time.

"I like the touch tanks because I get to touch the animals," said

8-year-old Summer Cook, Leedom-Martin's niece. "And when we come here, we

learn not to put trash in the ocean because the animals will die."

The touch tanks were only one highlight of the celebration, whose

official theme was "Living on Our Ocean Planet. The Ocean Begins at Your

Front Door." There was also grunion egg hatching, bird watching, power

boat tours of the Back Bay, a band and craft booths. The Marine Studies

Center on Shellmaker Island was also introduced, and earlier in the day,

a 13-mile Bike the Back Bay bike ride took place.

"It was a good ride," said Kristin Wood of Irvine, just after she and

friend Janet Price of Hollywood had finished event. "First it was rainy,

then it was windy, then sunny. It's a good cause to come out here. We're

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