Still Protecting Our Newport

Inspiring The Next Generation...

SPON is dedicated to preserving the existing charm and beauty of our City, as mandated by voters in the 2006 General Plan Vision Statement.  Adherence to the City’s residential character and residential density makes it crucial to form zoning and planning regulations that promote this vision and goal, sustaining the City of Newport Beach as an unparalleled place to live, visit and work.

SPON started after a 1974 torrential rainstorm that filled Newport Bay with every variety of unsavory clutter. Claudia Hirsch and Jean Watt, noticing the huge proliferation of debris, used this as a catalyst issue whose time had come: protect and preserve Newport Beach’s unique environment. A core group of activists and citizens from past groups such as Newport Residents United, Freeway Fighters and others led the way for much needed environmental awareness of Newport Bay. Other crucial issues such as the expansion of John Wayne Airport, intensity of planned development, persistent and growing traffic, building density, loss of open space, and the protection of the resources that make our City a unique environment, all became watch words and core concerns to the early SPON members.

There were soon many City issues that would either receive attention from, be started by, or developed in collaboration with SPON. Many other organizations often took the lead and sometimes used SPON’s resources, mailing list and other contacts to help jump start awareness of a variety of issues.

Today SPON cooperates with many non-profit community organizations, homeowner associations, our City, our County, and others. For example,

Newport Bay Conservancy

Environmental Nature Center


Coalition to Protect Mariner’s Mile

Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks

Banning Ranch Conservancy

Laguna Greenbelt

 Orange Coast River Park


Amigos de Bolsa Chica

 Green Vision Project


Newport Beach is a gem of a City.  And that is by no accident.  Our City celebrates a unique environment largely because SPON members and citizens have taken the initiative to:

  • Limit the number of flights and passengers using Orange County Airport and maintain the current night curfew
  • Stop a coastal freeway from dividing Newport Beach in two
  • Limit the height of buildings ringing the waterfront
  • Keep the Upper Bay an undeveloped and natural estuary
  • Provide adequate numbers of pump-out stations for boats
  • Require housing developers to dedicate land for public parks
  • Promote a cleaner bay and stop inland nurseries from releasing algae-producing nutrients that run into the bay
  • Convince the Irvine Company to dedicate open space around the Upper Bay
  • Require developments that generate traffic to improve traffic flow on streets and intersections
  • Keep beaches and the bay clean with periodic clean-up events

SPON is for everyone. Please join us as we work to protect and preserve Newport Beach’s unique environment. SPON dues are tax deductible. General contributions are too, and are always welcome and put to good use.

New member applications, membership renewals and Supporter options are available on our Support page.


Charles Klobe - President
Susan Dvorak - Vice President
Dennis Baker - Treasurer
Jeff Herdman - Secretary


Board Members

Bruce Bartram
Jo Carol Hunter
Max Johnson
Don Krotee
Andy Lingle
Bobby Lovell
Marko Popovich
Sharon Ray
Nancy Scarbrough
Nancy Skinner - 2014 Citizen of the Year
Ron Rubino


Jim Mosher
Karen Tringali
Samantha Washer

In Memoriam

Irene Black
Don Harvey
Jean Watt




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Charles Klobe
Vice President
Susan Dvorak
Dennis Baker
Jeff Herdman


Dennis Baker ²
Bruce Bartram ³
Susan Dvorak ¹
Jeff Herdman ¹
Jo Carol Hunter ¹
Max Johnson ¹
Charles Klobe ¹
Donald Krotee ³
Andrea Lingle ²
Bobby Lovell ¹
Marko Popovich ²
Sharon Ray ¹
Nancy Scarbrough ¹
Nancy Skinner ¹, 2014 Citizen of the Year

Board Member Terms

¹ Elected member who must run for reelection by the 2024 annual meeting
² Elected member who must run for reelection by the 2022 annual meeting
³ Elected member who must run for reelection by the 2023 annual meeting

Note: Per the SPON Bylaws, Board members are elected by the general membership at the annual meetings, with all members who have paid dues in the current calendar year eligible to vote. A slate is nominated by the existing Board but additional nominations can be made from the floor.

Members appointed by the Board between annual meetings must stand for election at the first annual meeting following their appointment. Elected Board members must stand for reelection by the third annual meeting following their most recent election. The longest-serving members may need to stand for reelection sooner so that at least one-third of the Board stands for election at each annual meeting.


Don Harvey
Jean Watt
Irene Black


(fourth Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., unless otherwise noted)