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Ecological kayaking tours offered at Newport Dunes

July 1, 2010 | 12:39 pm

Guests at the Newport Dunes Resort enjoying the waveless lagoon. Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina is now offering ecological kayaking tours. Guided by trained naturalists, the 1- to 2-hour tour takes in portions of the 750-acre, federally protected natural wildlife reserve that adjoin the resort.

The area is home to nearly 200 species of birds and numerous forms of rare plant life that are found throughout six distinctive habitats covering open water; mudflats; salt marshes; freshwater marshes and ponds; water-saturated riparian shoreline; and upland bluffs, cliffs and mesas.  Each location features a unique combination of food, water and shelter that enables its endemic plants and animals to grow and thrive. 

"This amazing wildlife sanctuary truly is one of Southern California's 'hidden jewels,' " said Andrew Theodorou, the Dunes' vice president and general manager. "We are delighted to assume the reins of this recreational and educational resource."

The cost is $25 per person, with children 3-years-old and younger free. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Newport Bay Naturalists & Friends, which used to run the tours. Life vests are required for children, and will be provided; adults will also be provided life vests but are not required to wear them.

Tours depart at 10 a.m. and reservations, with a two-person minimum, can currently be made for any day of the week. Group tours (20 maximum) are also available and should be reserved in advance. For reservations or more information, call (949) 279-4507 or e-mail jbrancucci@newportdunes.com

Newport Dunes Resort is a 100-acre waterfront resort featuring a 386-site state-of-the-art RV park, 450-slip marina and a private waveless beach and playground. The Dunes also is home to 24 mobile cottages that the public may rent. In addition to planned activities including water aerobics and sailing lessons, the Dunes offers rentals of pedal boats, surrey bikes, 18-foot electric boats and, during the summer, an aquatic park filled with giant inflatable recreation equipment.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Guests at the Newport Dunes Resort enjoying the waveless lagoon. Credit: Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina

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