Mailbag: Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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Our Mayor, Rush Hill, has declared 2014 a year of celebration for the City of Newport Beach. It’s a year of celebration for SPON (Stop Polluting Our Newport) as well. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary and our Top 40 achievements over those years.

In 1974, trash washed down from the watershed after a rainstorm and covered the Bay from shore to shore. The jet airport was expanding. Acre after acre of open space, wetlands, and coastline between Newport and Laguna were threatened by development. Traffic increased dramatically. Stop Polluting Our Newport was formed and began to make the case for a change.

Fast forward to 2014. As we look back to identify what we have to celebrate, the phrase Newport’s Treasures comes to mind.

In the magazine Newport Beach Lifestyle, May 2014, it is stated that “This year Newport Beach turned 108. It’s still a blend of glorious scenery and waterfront treasures. In fact, it’s safe to say there is no other city quite like it.”

That glorious scenery is due to our heritage of coastal topography, and because over the years Newport Beach residents have initiated policies to protect bluffs, views, open space, access to the beaches, and the character of neighborhoods.

We have initiated the Traffic Phasing Ordinance and Greenlight, which gives residents a chance to vote on major developments.

Just think for a moment about what a different city this would be were it not for the freeway fighters elimination of the Pacific Coast Freeway, Newport Residents United initiation of height limits around the bay, the Friends of Newport Bay who saved the Upper Newport Bay, and the Friends of Newport Coast who kept the coast open between Newport Beach and Laguna.

As a result of these efforts and many others, our treasures abound and range from special features, special places and special facilities. We are creating a list of Newport’s Treasures and invite everyone to tell us theirs.

Together with our “treasure map,” we can chart a course for the next 40 years with a clear view of what is most important to Newport Beach residents – and make sure those features remain protected.

What are your most favorite treasures? We invite you to go to our website, check out the achievements during the past 40 years, and send us your most favorite Newport Beach treasures:


Jean Watt

Newport Beach

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  1. Congratulation’s to SPON and Jean Watt for your hard work and vision for our city. The city is not a community until most of folks keep a hand on all city projects and visions. Newport has grown fast as the OC tipping toward 3.3 million population. The land and bluffs saved from development is a miracle and now is the time to stop polluted daily urban-runoff water and fine sediments coming from San DIego Creek. Newport Bay is a recreational bay and a County flood control system running through it isn’t on the water quality objective list.
    There are a few ways to address this problem, but the bureaucracy is a big obstacle, even with NGO’s like SPON have made prevention and laws so strict, it takes more to fix a problem than it did to cause it. Oh ok, and a IRWD.
    So, stay strong, show the whole picture of out great upper bay and bluffs, happy 40th!.

  2. SPON has given our city continuous protection and vigilance for 40 years and will continue to do so for the next generation. Because SPON was there we have a cleaner bay, more open space, protected views and less traffic crowding our roads. Perhaps most importantly, SPON fought for and achieved the 1985 airport settlement agreement that gave us a curfew and limited passengers and flights until 2015. Today SPON is working with the City, the county, and AWG to craft a new agreement that will protect us for years to come.