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UPDATE:Earth Day events -- free family fun

UPPER NEWPORT BAY

April 19, 2007|By Carol Starcevic

Earth Day this year is Sunday. Come join your friends and neighbors and help us celebrate from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach. It's free, and families are welcome.

There is ample free parking, and food and soft drinks will be available for purchase. This is all about enjoying the Back Bay and learning about its local environs through exhibition booths and interactive, educational displays.

Many agencies and volunteer organizations from around Orange County will host booths and demonstrations to explain their respective roles in helping to protect Mother Earth.

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This is a great way for kids to learn about Upper Newport Bay, one of the few remaining estuaries in California. Some sponsoring agencies include the California Coastal Commission; the California Department of Fish and Game; the city of Newport Beach; the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends; the Orange County Department of Harbors, Beaches and Parks; and the Orange County Health Care Agency, among many others.

Also, the Newport Beach Film Festival will feature films with environmental themes.

Other activities include scavenger hunts for all ages, science and crafts booths, a touch tank with sharks, environmental exhibits, an opportunity drawing, and live music.

Earth Day is a time for all of us to think about how we can protect our planet and preserve its future.

There are many ways we can contribute, including recycling, reusing and conserving resources, and preventing pollution. Visit us on Earth Day to learn how and why we should all be involved.

For more information about Earth Day, call (949) 923-2296 or go to www.newportbay.org.

NEW BOBCAT FAMILY AT THE BAY

This year the Newport Bay Naturalists and Friends will have a special booth to showcase our new family of bobcats that has recently taken up residence at the bay. The female bobcat, nicknamed Babe, was first photographed along Back Bay Drive on Dec. 22, 2005. Since then she's had a litter of three kittens. All have dispersed by now and are believed to be doing well. The first few years of a bobcat's life are challenging as they seek to find their own territory and compete with coyotes for sufficient food.

Babe weighed 14 pounds when she was first captured by rangers for inspection. She was later released with appropriate tagging for observation. These cats are not a lot bigger than a domestic house cat but a great deal stronger and faster.

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