A critical and long-awaited project to replenish beach sand along 12 miles of Orange County coastline — including Newport Beach’s – began on Monday, November 27. The project is being led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Crews will dredge about 1.2 million cubic yards of sand about two miles off the coast of Surfside and Sunset beaches and deposit it on a stretch of beach south of the Seal Beach naval station. Over the next few years, through natural wave and tidal flow, the sand will move south to replenish beaches at Huntington, Bolsa Chica and Newport.
Newport Beach will see more immediate results. As part of the project, the Army Corps will use 100,000 cubic yards of accumulated sand from the far West Newport area, near the Santa Ana River, to replenish beaches between 52nd and 36th streets. Temporary construction fencing will be in place between the Santa Ana River and 36th Street to delineate the path of large sand trucks. The public is advised to use caution when crossing the truck corridor during the sand-moving operations, which are expected to take four to six weeks.
Federal sand replenishment projects began in the 1960s to offset the erosion of Orange County beaches caused by construction of federal flood control channels and other projects that disrupted the natural flow of sand and river sediment.
Historically these replenishment projects were done every five to seven years. The last such project was in 2009, however, before federal funding was discontinued. Newport Beach, along with other coastal cities, successfully advocated for the return of federal funding, which was awarded in the current fiscal year budget. The federal contribution is $15.5 million, with about $7.5 million from the state, local cities and agencies.
Residents are invited to call Newport Beach’s Public Works Department with questions or concerns at (949) 644-3330 or email at [email protected].