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Tides Center/Marine Education Project

 Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, 600C Shellmaker Road
 Newport Beach, CA 92660
[P] (949) 640-0286
[F] (949) 640-1742
www.projectgrowca.org
[email protected]
Matthew Yurko
FOUNDED: 1976
INCORPORATED: 1996
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Project Grow
Marine Education Project
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 94-3213100 00001

Summary


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Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Marine Education Project (MEP) is to preserve and restore the biodiversity and health of California’s coastal and marine ecosystems through scientifically-supported community involvement, education, and action.

Operating Project Grow at the Upper Newport Bay is one of MEP’s primary activities. Project Grow is based on the premise that if community members develop a personal relationship with their environment, they will be more motivated to actively engage in protecting it. It is important for the long-term viability of our wetlands that local and inland residents, community groups, and students understand the value of the wetland ecosystem and how they can help keep it healthy.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Marine Education Project (MEP) is to preserve and restore the biodiversity and health of California’s coastal and marine ecosystems through scientifically-supported community involvement, education, and action.

Operating Project Grow at the Upper Newport Bay is one of MEP’s primary activities. Project Grow is based on the premise that if community members develop a personal relationship with their environment, they will be more motivated to actively engage in protecting it. It is important for the long-term viability of our wetlands that local and inland residents, community groups, and students understand the value of the wetland ecosystem and how they can help keep it healthy.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2018
Projected Expenses $515,717.00
Projected Revenue $515,843.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Project Grow
  • Digging In

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview


Mission Statement

The mission of the Marine Education Project (MEP) is to preserve and restore the biodiversity and health of California’s coastal and marine ecosystems through scientifically-supported community involvement, education, and action.

Operating Project Grow at the Upper Newport Bay is one of MEP’s primary activities. Project Grow is based on the premise that if community members develop a personal relationship with their environment, they will be more motivated to actively engage in protecting it. It is important for the long-term viability of our wetlands that local and inland residents, community groups, and students understand the value of the wetland ecosystem and how they can help keep it healthy.

Background Statement

The Marine Education Project (MEP) was created in late 2001 with start-up funding came from a legal settlement over the 1990 American Trader oil spill off Huntington Beach. The Marine Education Project was started by the Public Education Program of the California Coastal Commission, but is a separate entity and needs outside funding for its operations. The MEP is a project of the nonprofit Tides Center, an experienced umbrella organization housing 200 charitable projects. For over 40 years Tides has provided fiscal management and other infrastructure services while their projects focus on programmatic operations.


Impact Statement

Top accomplishments from the past year: 

  1. Successfully raised funds and invited teens from local Title I high schools to participate in a series of hands-on habitat restoration events while they learn about coastal wetland topics. 
  2. Native plants in Newport Valley are now providing a much more developed habitat than ever before. Our more established sites from the last few planting seasons resisted new plant invasions, showing habitat that is successfully defending itself without our continued help. 
  3. Our Environmental Leadership program training college interns continues to do well and these new environmental leaders are taking on more and more responsibility. These students receive training in volunteer event management, environmental education, and ecological restoration techniques. Last year 22 interns led 52 events including Steward Days (weekly volunteer events for native plant propagation and invasive plant eradication) and ROOTS Events (monthly volunteer events for invasive plant eradication and planting).
  4. We received approval to do more riparian habitat restoration for the Metropolitan Water District over the next several years.
Top goals for the current year:
  1. Conduct salt marsh restoration at the Upper Newport Bay by removing invasive Algerian sea lavender.

  2. Conduct riparian habitat restoration in the Newport Valley site.

  3. Continue to provide opportunities for Title I high school students from Orange County.

  4. Continue to provide ecological restoration career training for college students.

  5. Work for the first time with the Conservation Corps to rid the Upper Newport Bay of especially tough invasive plants.

 


Needs Statement

One of the best birding sites in North America, UNB holds important nesting, feeding, and breeding grounds for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway. (Coastal wetlands such as UNB also sequester carbon, an important consideration during global climate change.) UNB is home to 165 different species of birds, several listed as threatened or endangered. UNB also supports many mammals, fish, invertebrates, and over 200 different native plants. But UNB’s rich ecosystem has been degraded from development, species introductions, and other human activities. Without intervention, degradation will continue as invasive plants displace native species.

Our top needs:

  1. Further diversify our funding sources as multi-year government grants wind down.

  2. Find a way to successfully engage corporate volunteer groups.

  3. Find a way to successfully engage individual donors, especially when most program participants are young adults.


CEO Statement

We are pleased with our track record of making a difference in Orange County. Since its inception in 2002, Project Grow has hosted over 25,000 volunteers who have donated over 67,000 hours of service time. Volunteers have propagated 34,000 native plants in our on-site nursery, installed over 27,000 native plants in our restoration sites, and removed 51 tons of invasive plant material to restore wildlife habitat. Over the years, Project Grow has demonstrated a leadership role in advising other wetland restoration projects in California. We have used our knowledge to grow salt marsh plants for habitat restoration at Bolsa Chica. We have shared advice for development of a native plant nursery at Orange Coast River Park. We have also helped develop and lead nature-based recreation programs for the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. We wrote and published a guide entitled, “Digging In: A Guide to Community Based Habitat Restoration.” We have led workshops around California and presented at conferences to distribute this guide, provide training, and share lessons learned with other community-based wetland restoration groups.

Board Chair Statement

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Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

We would be happy to accept a check payable to "Tides Center/Marine Education Project" mailed to:Matt YurkoUNB Ecological Reserve600C Shellmaker Rd.Newport Beach, CA  92660 Volunteers are the heart of our entire habitat restoration program.  Volunteers are invited to help restore Upper Newport Bay every Wednesday morning from 9-11 or on the 4th Saturday of each month (the 2nd Saturday in November and December) from 9-12.  We also host special corporate and school restoration events upon request.  Contact Matt Yurko at [email protected] or (949) 640-0286. 

Geographic Area Served

Central Orange County
North Orange County
West Orange County

Our habitat restoration work takes place at the Upper Newport Bay, but the project involves volunteers from different Orange County communities such as Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Orange, and Fullerton.

With an estimated 90 percent of coastal wetlands in southern California lost to development and agriculture, Upper Newport Bay (UNB) Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve is one of the largest remaining intact areas. Therefore, our program's work at this significant natural resource benefits the region as a whole.

The Marine Education Project also works statewide. Using our experiences at the Upper Newport Bay as a model for other similar projects, we lead workshops around California to provide training, share lessons learned with other restoration groups, and encourage them to network and learn from each other. We also make presentations at conferences elsewhere in the U.S. to share our lessons learned with other ecological restoration professionals.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
  2. Public & Societal Benefit - Citizen Participation
  3. Environment - Environmental Education

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Programs


Project Grow

Project Grow works to inspire and empower the public to restore California’s natural heritage.  By mobilizing community involvement and volunteer labor, Project Grow addresses habitat degradation at the Upper Newport Bay (UNB) through:
• removing non-native invasive plants;
• collecting seeds and propagating seedlings in our on-site native plant nursery;
• planting riparian, high marsh, and upland coastal sage scrub plant species; and
• monitoring and maintaining restored areas.

We offer three types of opportunities for involvement: Community Steward Days (weekly events for native plant propagation in our native plant nursery); “ROOTS” restoration events for large groups (for monthly weed eradication and planting, accompanied by informative talks); and special events for corporate or school groups, upon request. 
 
This program also includes an Environmental Leader Internship Program. The program trains ethnically diverse cohorts of college students as Environmental Leaders to prepare and lead programs. Cohorts are composed of 10 to 15 students. Specific
skill development includes training in public outreach, ecological restoration techniques, and leading large public restoration events. Well-established program partnerships exist with Chapman University, UC Irvine Center for Environmental Biology, and Saddleback College, from which student interns are recruited.
 
To enrich the hands-on experience of our high school participants at restoration events, we offer “Our Wetlands, Our World,” an activity guide providing information and activities to help teens learn about the importance of wetlands. (The curriculum is downloadable at http://www.projectgrowca.org/resources.html.)  
 
Budget  280,843
Category  Environment, General/Other Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Population Served Adults K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  • In one year, 1,000 community volunteers will actively engage in the protection of the wetlands and uplands of the Upper Newport Bay by contributing a minimum of 2,500 hours of participation. 
• They will remove non-native, invasive plants and install native plants in degraded habitat at the Upper Newport Bay to benefit native wildlife.
• They will grow 3,000 plants in our onsite native plant nursery.
• They will weed 2 acres of our previously restored areas to remove non-native, invasive plants.
Program Long-Term Success 

When ultimately successful, the Upper Newport Bay will be sustainable and healthy, free of invasive plants while hosting diverse wildlife, some of which remains endangered today: light-footed clapper rail in the cordgrass of the salt marsh, least bell’s vireo will return to the willows and mulefat in the riparian (freshwater) edges, and California gnatcatcher in the California sagebrush of the coastal sage scrub (upland) habitat. 

Community members of all ages will have a lifelong understanding and ownership over the bay, its ecology, and the maintenance of its ecological health.  The community will ensure that this place remains healthy, that the wildlife (including endangered species) will continue to thrive, and that people will understand their rightful role as participants in, and stewards of, the natural world in the place where they live and work.

Program Success Monitored By 

Regarding measuring the success of the habitat restoration work, ongoing monitoring and maintenance is directed by the CBREP Upper Newport Bay Monitoring Plan to ensure that self-sustainability is established.  Program staff and volunteers will conduct assessments that cover: vegetation establishment, mortality, species composition, need for irrigation and maintenance, and invasion by non-native plants. We will also conduct quantitative plant monitoring in February and again in August following planting, measuring percent vegetative cover. Irrigation, replanting and invasive removal will be conducted on an as-needed basis, as established through weekly surveys of the restoration sites.

We will also track our success with tallies of community participants and their hours contributed, number of plants grown in our nursery, and acreage restored at the end of one year.

Examples of Program Success 
We are pleased with our track record of making a difference in Orange County. Since its inception in 2002, Project Grow has hosted over 25,000 volunteers who have donated over 67,000 hours of service time. Volunteers have propagated 34,000 native plants in our on-site nursery, installed over 27,000 native plants in our restoration sites, and removed 51 tons of invasive plant material to restore wildlife habitat. The work has supported rare wildlife species in our restoration sites including the California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo, and burrowing owl.

Digging In

We have written and published a very well-received "how-to" guide entitled, "Digging In: A Guide to Community Based Habitat Restoration."  By using this guide as a starting point to feature our experiences at the Upper Newport Bay as a model for other similar projects, we lead workshops around California to distribute this guide, provide training, share lessons learned with other community-based wetland restoration groups, and encourage them to network and learn from each other. 
 
The community workshops introduce the “Digging In” guide and cover best practices on topics of interest to the audience, such as site selection, getting permission to work on a restoration site from the landowner, logistics of running a restoration event, working with volunteers, battling non-natives, what to do with removed invasive plant material, and propagating and installing native plants.
 
We also make presentations at conferences elsewhere in the U.S. to share our lessons learned.
Budget  $5,000.00
Category  Environment, General/Other Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
We will find funding to print additional guides and resume distribution at rates previously seen.  (To date, we have distributed 679 books.)  We will host 3-4 workshops per year to introduce the guide.  Additional workshops per year will focus on specific topics found in the guide based on requests by a targeted audience.  We expect workshops will continue to receive “Good” or “Excellent” ratings via post-workshop participant evaluation.
Program Long-Term Success 
Recipients of the guide will refer to our guidebook in the future when questions arise and eventually become experienced enough to outgrow their need for it.  Trainees of our workshops will continue and grow their habitat restoration programs. They will form a more formal “community of practice” with each other to regularly share tips and assist each other.
 
Ultimately, the number and quality of opportunities to engage in community-based restoration will  increase. The population will develop a stronger connection with the natural environment in southern California, and a greater sense of stewardship.
Program Success Monitored By 

We encourage each person who receives a copy of the Digging In guide to fill out a survey of the value of the guide to their work, whether on-line (at www.restorehabitat.org) or in hard copy.

We distribute pre-workshop participant surveys to gear the content of the workshop to participants’ needs, expectations, and level of experience; and to assess pre-workshop knowledge of topics covered, in order to assess changes resulting from participation in the workshop afterward. 

We also distribute surveys to participants at the end of each workshop to measure their satisfaction, assess the educational value, and ask for suggestions for future workshops.  Recently 100% of participants have been rating the experience as Excellent or Good. 

Examples of Program Success 
As of August 2013, since 2008 we have held 14 workshops which have trained 373 community-based restoration practitioners.
 
"Digging In is a delightful, clearly written and resource-rich read. It is an invaluable tool for ecological restorationists working in any habitat. I liked it so much I used it as an online text in my restoration ecology class at University of California, Irvine."
--excerpt from book review by Dr. Peter Bowler, UC Irvine, in "Ecological Restoration," Dec '09
 
“Exceeded expectations. There was a wide range of experience and ideas and opinions exchanged among participants.”
--excerpt from a post-workshop evaluation

Management


CEO/Executive Director Kriss D. Deiglmeier
CEO Term Start 2013
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Kriss has more than 20 years of senior executive experience that spans the business, social enterprise, nonprofit, academic and philanthropic sectors. She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of social innovation and has presented nationally and internationally on social innovation, social entrepreneurship, design thinking and public- private partnerships as well as guest-lectured at myriad universities around the world.

Before joining Tides, Kriss was the founding Executive Director for the Center for Social Innovation (CSI) at Stanford. She established CSI as a global leader in the emerging social innovation field. Kriss worked as an Advisor to the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies while living in Myanmar in 2013. In her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for Juma Ventures, Kriss helped raise the profile of the social entrepreneurship field from a niche market to mainstream.

 
Kriss received her BA from the University of Washington, and her MBA from UC Berkeley.
 

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Judith A. Hill Chief Financial Officer Judith Hill has been a Senior Financial and Administrative Executive in nonprofit and/or educational institutions for over 20 years. She has served in the Chief Financial role at the San Francisco Art Institute, Heald College, Sequoia Institute and CTB, a division of McGraw-Hill. Judith began her career in public accounting with Touche Ross, has an MBA with MIS emphasis from Regis College and is a Colorado licensed CPA. She is a member of the California Society of CPA’s, has served on the Board of Enterprise for High School Students and the ACCSC Finance Review Committee.
Suneela Jain -- --
Amanda Keton General Counsel --
JenMarie Landig -- --
Alexander Sloan -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Excellence in Volunteer Management (Matt Yurko) Orange County Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) 2007
Staff Environmental Educator Award (to Matt Yurko) Orange County Wild 2007

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Project Grow at the Upper Newport Bay is very much a collaborative project and we enjoy strong working relationships with the Newport Bay Conservancy, the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Orange County Parks. the City of Newport Beach, Saddleback College, UC Irvine, and Chapman University.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? --
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses

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CEO Comments

Please note that the CEO and senior staff belong to our fiscal sponsor, the Tides Center.  The regular staff information pertains to the Marine Education Project.

Foundation Comments

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Governance


Board Chair Michael Fernandez
Board Chair Company Affiliation Quant 6
Board Chair Term -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Michael Fernandez Quant6 Voting
Edward Lloyd -- Voting
Peter Mellen -- Voting
Suzanne Nossel PEN American Center Voting
Deepak Puri VMWare Voting
Tuti B. Scott Imagine Philanthropy Voting
Jason Wingard -- --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 2
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria --
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Board Orientation --

CEO Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Standing Committees

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $269,220 $362,189 $275,736
Total Expenses $353,791 $333,362 $291,710

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$127,425 $135,750 $101,995
Government Contributions $135,263 $222,494 $172,192
    Federal -- -- --
    State $135,263 $11,823 $2,234
    Local -- $210,671 $169,958
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $60 $28 $425
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $6,471 $3,917 $1,125
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $324,305 $290,434 $258,898
Administration Expense $29,486 $42,928 $32,750
Fundraising Expense -- -- $62
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.76 1.09 0.95
Program Expense/Total Expenses 92% 87% 89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $30,192 $51,146 $23,212
Current Assets $30,192 $51,146 $23,212
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities $14,418 $11,905 $12,797
Total Net Assets $15,775 $39,241 $10,415

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 2.09 4.30 1.81

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) 0%
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal $0.00
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments

Please note that the audit information and Form 990s presented here are for our fiscal sponsor, the nonprofit Tides Center.  The Tides Center houses 200 projects and therefore reports very high revenues and expenses.  The Marine Education Project does not receive a separate audit or file a separate Form 990. 

Foundation Comments

Marine Education Program is fiscally sponsored by Tides Center. 990s and the audit statement on profile belong to Tides Center. Financials are specific for Marine Education Program. Summary financial data is per the financials and consultation with the organization.

Documents


Other Documents

3-year financial summary for Marine Education Project (2018)

Photo Collage (2012)

No Other Documents currently available.