What Happened: The Newport Beach City Council approved an agreement with a firm for federal advocacy services related to harbor dredging efforts and programs, Feb. 27. Carpi & Clay was retained to represent Newport Beach at the federal level in hopes the firm would help bring the city’s issues to the forefront when it comes to harbor dredging.
“The city has been actively working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers … and to a limited extent, federal elected representatives, to present and educate them on our dredging needs in Newport Harbor, as well as to get our project on the Corps’ upcoming project funding list,” city staff told council members in a report. “Keeping our project in focus and on the recommended funding list of both the Corps and the many elected representatives that need to review and approve it is, and continues to be, a significant challenge particularly because we do not have a presence in Washington, D.C.”
An Army Corps study in 2017 revealed there is about 650,000 cubic yards of sediment remaining in federal waters and must be dredged to “maintain adequate navigation.”
“Said dredging will also improve the tidal flushing action which will in turn further improve bay water quality,” city staff stated.
Newport Beach last conducted a major dredging of the Lower Harbor area in 2012.
“Since that dredging effort, the city has been interested in pursuing another project to complete the dredging of the Lower Harbor to deepen it back to the original design depths,” city staff stated. “Over the past couple of years, staff has been actively working at both the federal agency and legislative levels to develop project support and funding. As it stands, the city is currently funding and completing the necessary sediment testing effort required as part of the first steps for dredging.”
What’s On Tap: Newport Beach intends to request the Army Corps for a $400,000 line item in 2019; the funding, city staff indicated, would facilitate necessary dredging of the harbor.
Newport Beach and Carpi & Clay would enter into a 30-month, $141,000 contract to help facilitate and expedite federal harbor dredging activities.