Santa Ana Marsh Dredging Completed

Byline: Ambrosia Brody

NEWPORT BEACH — Because of a late start, the Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District did not complete its Santa Ana River Marsh dredging project until March 31. The initial scheduled completion date was set at Feb. 25.

The Corps of Engineers began to remove sediment along the channels in the Santa Ana River Marsh Feb. 11. The agency worked extended hours and weekends, and deployed extra crew members in order to complete the project by the end of the month, the city of Newport Beach reported.

According to the city, Newport Beach worked in conjunction with the agency for the time extension to complete the project, because the alternative would have involved demobilization and the agency returning in August to complete the dredging.

Removal of the accumulated sand restores the designed channel depths and improves circulation and tidal flushing in the area. Both are required to maintain the 92-acre salt marsh habitat, which is home to many threatened or endangered species.

Good-quality sand was piped through a temporary pipeline from the Santa Ana Marsh parallel to the Santa Ana River, then down along the beach and through the surf zone — to a site located 1,000 feet offshore from 60th Street. Approximately 20,000 cubic yards of “clean sand” were pumped through the pipe.

The $4 million project removed 70,000 cubic yards of sand from the marsh.

Clean sand was thoroughly tested and approved by the EPA for placement at the approved site, according to a project update. The other 50,000 cubic yards of sediment deemed unsuitable for beach replacement was disposed of at an upland disposal site.

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