Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Collection on Upper Newport Bay, circa 1949-1997
MS-R094  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (102.32 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Chronology
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Collection on Upper Newport Bay,
    Date (inclusive): circa 1949-1997
    Collection number: MS-R094
    Collector: University of California, Irvine. Library. Government Information Collection.
    Extent: 6.1 linear feet 7 boxes and 3 oversize folders
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: Collection contains chiefly governmental and non-governmental agency reports concerning the controversial 1965 Upper Newport Bay proposed land exchange between the County of Orange and the Irvine Company. Materials include plans and proposals for preservation of the bay; information on its flora, fauna, and geology; correspondence; legal documents; audio recordings; and printed ephemera. Public and expert meeting agendas, environmental surveys and policy reviews, and legal opinions and briefs further illustrate the complexity of the issues, groups and individuals involved.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Collection on Upper Newport Bay. MS-R94. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Some materials now in this collection were first given to Linda Adams (UCI Government Information Librarian) by Frances Robinson in 1978. Additional materials on the subject collected from the early 1970s to the present, have been added by Government Information librarians. Collection transferred to Special Collections and Archives, 2002.

    Processing History

    Processed by Andre Ambrus, 2003. Additional materials processed by Audrey Pearson, 2007.

    Historical Note

    In the 1960s, after preparing the legal groundwork for over a decade, the Irvine Company (Orange County, California) proposed a major land swap with the County of Orange. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1965. The project, involving an exchange of publicly owned tidelands on the Upper Newport Bay in Orange County for Irvine Company-owned blufflands, was intended to pave the way for the development of a marina, housing developments, and recreational facilities along the Upper Newport Bay shoreline.
    Though environmental activism was relatively unknown at the time, the plan quickly met with resistance from local residents. Several grassroots environmental groups were formed and in 1967 the Friends of the Newport Bay (FONB), the most vocal and instrumental group, held its first meeting. Local Newport Beach residents J. Frank and Frances Robinson were instrumental in forming FONB. The subsequent interest and reporting by local and state media raised public awareness and directed attention to controversial elements of the transaction.
    In 1969, as a result of this new awareness, six Newport Beach residents, led by the Robinsons, filed as intervenors in a friendly lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the trade, halt the project, and reverse the decisions made by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The ongoing suits and their media coverage resulted in increasing public demand for the retention of Upper Newport Bay land for public usage. Through a combination of political and legal actions the land exchange was canceled in 1971. In 1974 the idea for the Upper Bay Reserve plan won federal approval and in 1975, ten years after the initial land exchange proposal, the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve was dedicated.

    Chronology

    1965 Formal agreement is signed between Orange County and Irvine Co. for the exchange of privately held bluff lands for publicly held tide lands in order to facilitate residential development of Upper Newport Bay.
    1967 State Lands Commission gives its endorsement to land exchange.
    1967 Friends of Newport Bay is formed.
    1969 Exchange is first tested in court. Frances and Frank Robinson and four other Newport Beach homeowners file as intervenors.
    1969 Santa Barbara oil spill raises public awareness about environmental issues.
    1970 Retention of Upper Newport Bay for public park is urged.
    1971 New Board of Supervisors votes to cancel the Upper Newport Bay land exchange agreement between Orange County and the Irvine Company.
    1973 Upper Bay land trade is held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of California.
    1973 Irvine Company decides not to appeal ruling, thus effectively giving up on its earlier development plans, and in addition, agrees to sell its bluff lands for a wildlife preserve.
    1974 Plans for a preserve in the Upper Bay win federal approval.
    1975 Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve is dedicated.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    Collection contains chiefly governmental and non-governmental agency reports concerning the controversial 1965 Upper Newport Bay proposed land exchange between the County of Orange and the Irvine Company. Materials include plans and proposals for preservation of the bay; information on its flora, fauna, and geology; correspondence; legal documents; audio recordings; and printed ephemera. Public and expert meeting agendas, environmental surveys and policy reviews, and legal opinions and briefs further illustrate the complexity of the issues, groups and individuals involved.
    This collection is arranged into 5 series.
    • Series 1. Legal documents, circa 1962-1975. 0.6 linear ft.
    • Series 2. Research materials, circa 1949-1973. 0.8 linear ft.
    • Series 3. Governmental and non-governmental publications, 1963-1996. 1.8 linear ft.
    • Series 4. Newspaper clippings, 1963-1972. 0.7 linear ft.
    • Series 5. Topical files, 1952-1997. 2.2 linear ft.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Coasts -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Coastal zone management -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Ecological reserves -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Land use -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Public lands -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Wetland conservation -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Wetland restoration -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Green movement -- California -- Upper Newport Bay -- Archives.
    Newport Bay (Calif.) -- Archives.
    Newport Bay (Calif.) -- History -- Archives.
    Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve (Calif.) -- Archives.

    Genres and Formats of Materials

    Environmental impact statements -- California -- Orange County -- Upper Newport Bay -- 20th century.
    Letters -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
    Plans -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
    Sound recordings -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
    Legal documents -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century

    Contributors

    University of California, Irvine. Library. Government Publications Dept., collector.