City Manager Update: Summer Recreation Recap, NBFD and Wildfires, High Tide Events

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Grace Leung,. Newport Beach City Manager

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

As the summer wraps up and the school year begins, I’d like to thank all the members of our community who helped make the City’s recreation programs, camps, special events and sports such a success this summer. This was a record-setting year for attendance in many of our programs!

I’m especially grateful to our Recreation and Senior Services staff for organizing and delivering a superb range of recreation opportunities during a challenging summer. Please read the by-the-numbers review of our summer 2021 recreation programs. And don’t forget to register early for Fall programs – registration is now open through our Recreation and Senior Services web site at

Recreation and Senior Services Summer Recap

Summer Camps

The Recreation & Senior Services Department offered over 400 different camps for children of all ages to enjoy. Summer programs concluded with a marked increase in participants and revenue. The 10 full weeks of summer camp saw 6,874 participants with revenues for camps surpassing recent years, generating $1,648,935.

Additionally, our aquatics team offered swim lessons to 758 participants at Marian Bergeson Aquatic Center.

Camps were organized by week and allowed parents to select all-day or half-day options. From dance and theatre camps, to sports, surfing & sailing, we made sure our residents and visitors had fun in 2021.

Adult and Youth Sports

While our camps are the main attraction during the summer months, our adult and youth sports programs were going strong. Though grass fields were closed for renovations, eight youth sports organizations maximized use of our two synthetic turf fields with 890 playable hours over 10 weeks.

Our adult classes and sports saw a large increase this summer as well with a total of 244 pickleball/tennis participants, 1,100 active adults in classes and 2,176 participants across our seven adult sports leagues.

Sailing, Kayaking and Paddling at Marina Park

Over 1,700 people enjoyed sailing, kayaking, and paddle boarding this summer with $90,000 in revenue at Marina Park.

Special Events

Special events were popular and very well attended. Over 5,000 people joined our celebrations at the 4th is for Families and Mariners 4th of July events.

Our two “Movies in The Park” events have had a total of 1,000 people bring their blankets and beach chairs to enjoy Toy Story 4 and Frozen II on the big screen in the park. There is one more chance to see a Movie in the Park this summer at Grant Howald Park on September 10, at 6:30 p.m. And remember to join us for a concert in the park at Marina Park on September 26 at 4 p.m.

A total of 20 Special Event Permits were issued by the Department this summer which included surf contests, run/walk events, golf tournaments, holiday festivals and much more hosted by local organizations.

Facility Rentals

Our community was excited to begin using our beautiful facilities during the summer. Our community centers and picnic shelters have been busy with child birthday parties, business meetings, weddings, and other social gatherings. Over 230 individuals and groups reserved our community centers and picnic shelters this summer.

OASIS Senior Center

The OASIS Fitness Center is currently operating under normal business hours and reservations are no longer required to workout. During the summer months we had a total of 289 new fitness center memberships. The personal trainers were busy and trained over 326 members.

Our enrichment and fitness classes are in full swing, in total 839 registered participants and our volunteer groups are gaining momentum each time they meet.

The OASIS Sailing Club, Friends of OASIS Board and HOA’s have resumed their in-person meeting dates. Our fall program registration was a success and our senior community continues to express their excitement with our planned events and lectures.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

As of August 26, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,602, an increase of 87 from August 20. The total number of cases in Orange County as of August 26 was 282,643, an increase of 4,226 cases from August 20. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 26 was 260,971. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health.

Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) Response to State Wildfires

Wildfires continue to burn throughout the State of California at a record setting pace. There are currently more than a dozen fires greater than 50 acres actively burning. The most notable is the Dixie Fire in the northern counties of Butte, Lassen and Shasta. The Dixie Fire has burned over 750,000 acres and has left severe devastation to several communities.

During the early days of the fire, the Newport Beach Fire Department sent a fire engine with a crew of four firefighters as part of a strike team to assist with the fire suppression efforts along with neighboring Orange County agencies. Those crews remained assigned to the Dixie Fire for 14 days before returning home to Newport Beach. Monday, August 16, the NBFD sent another fire engine with four more firefighters and two additional NBFD Battalion Chiefs to lead the Orange County efforts at the Dixie Fire. Earlier this week those crews were reassigned to the Caldor Fire to assist with the firefighting efforts in South Lake Tahoe.

In all, a strike team consisting of fire engines with 20 firefighters from various Orange County agencies traveled together and remain together while they are assigned to the incidents. The NBFD also sent a Fire Captain to the French Fire in Kern County to assist with radios and communications, as a subject matter expert.

Other notable fires at this time are the Caldor Fire threatening villages in South Lake Tahoe and the South Fire in the northern Fontana area.

The NBFD remains fully staffed in each of its fire stations here in Newport Beach while the strike team members are assigned to assist with incidents throughout the State. Our firefighters are requested as part of a state-wide mutual aid program and the City is reimbursed by the State for their time.

Rotary Club Tree Planting Event

Public Works staff partnered with members of the Newport-Irvine Rotary Club for a tree-planting event at Arroyo Park on Saturday, August 21. Thirty volunteers from the Club, along with several members from the local Boy Scouts, and a few City staff planted 10 15-gallon trees that were donated by Shadetree Nursery. Trees selected consisted of pink trumpet and oak tree varieties.

One of the Rotary Club’s initiatives is environmental stewardship, which can be provided through planting trees in our local parks or neighborhoods. This important initiative will bring the Club back to Newport Beach in the future.

Shoreline Protection During High Tide Event

Last week, Newport Beach received higher than usual surf during a high tide period from August 18 through August 21. The four-day high tide period reached an average of 7.7 feet. However, the surf which was predicted to come in at four to six feet came in at 10 to 12 feet.

Public Works Department crews, with assistance from contractors, reinforced the shoreline by increasing the size of our existing sand berms. With the use of four loaders and a backhoe, four feet of sand was added to the berms. Additionally,

berms were also built from 40th to 56th Streets at West Newport.

As a precautionary measure, all the walkway fingers were protected from B Street to the Wedge. Utilities Department crews placed pumps along the bayside during the high tide period. All the measures taken prevented flooding from happening even when a few waves crested over the berms.

Staff will continue to maintain these precautionary measures while keeping the beaches accessible.

Parks and Open Space

Park Patrol diligently monitors use of our busy parks and amenities, including playgrounds, picnic shelters and athletic fields. During Summer the team interacted and educated 629 members of the public on park rules and made 2,647 park facility related checks. Our outdoor spaces continue to be a popular way for residents and visitors to recreate, explore and connect with nature. On weekends, the tidepools in the Marine Protected Area at Little Corona see an average of 520 visitors per day!

For more information on the Recreation and Seniors Service Department programs and services, please visit

Homelessness Update

  • City Net, the City’s contract homeless services agency, completed Emergency Housing Voucher application packets with several clients. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Six people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority.
  • City Net staff placed a man into the Salvation Army’s Hospitality House program in Santa Ana. Hospitality House is a sober living facility for men operated by the Salvation Army.
  • City Net completed three housing assessments with people enrolled in their services.
  • Three people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach were enrolled into City Net services. City Net case managers ordered identifying documents for them, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards.
  • City Net transported a client to an appointment with Telecare, which provides several programs to assist people with serious mental health conditions.
  • Staff continues to provide food gift cards, support, and case management to a person sheltering in a motel while she awaits placement into permanent, supportive housing.

For a comprehensive look at the City’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness, please visit our web site at

To donate, please visit our Good Giving Program web page at




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