This week I’d like to recognize critical, often unsung members of our City team who perform a vital service during rainstorms: the Utilities Department crews that pump storm water and operate the tide valves on Balboa Island and the Peninsula.

The valves, which were built in the 1970s to replace a system from the early 1900s, are necessary to prevent flooding in low-lying areas. They are manually operated, and need to be closed during high tides to prevent seawater from flooding the streets. Once the tide recedes, crews reopen the valves — nearly 90 in total — to allow water to flow from streets to the bay.

In some ways, on some days, we all live trashy lives.

Even an inadvertently dropped gum wrapper via the forces of gravity, wind, and water runoff finds itself in company with all manner of discarded detritus heading to our oceans and beaches.

Trash is strictly a human byproduct. Just walk Newport’s sands after a crowded summer day. Or stand by the outflow of the Santa Ana River, or the entrance to the Upper Bay estuary post-storm to witness the “flood” of trash tangled in broken foliage washed downstream, to either float offshore, rest on our beaches or become locked in the life-giving vegetation of the Back Bay.

In some ways, on some days, we all live trashy lives.

Even an inadvertently dropped gum wrapper via the forces of gravity, wind, and water runoff finds itself in company with all manner of discarded detritus heading to our oceans and beaches.

Trash is strictly a human byproduct. Just walk Newport’s sands after a crowded summer day. Or stand by the outflow of the Santa Ana River, or the entrance to the Upper Bay estuary post-storm to witness the “flood” of trash tangled in broken foliage washed downstream, to either float offshore, rest on our beaches or become locked in the life-giving vegetation of the Back Bay.

2022 Most Innovative Program
The City’s Harbor Department Code Enforcement Division was recognized as the “2022 Most Innovative Program” at the recent California Association of Code Enforcement Officers annual conference.

High Marks from Pumpout & Dump Station Monitoring Program
Southern California Clean Vessel Act Pumpout & Dump Station Monitoring Program
Recent surveys were conducted on the following Public Docks on Sep 27, 2022.

California Coastal Commission – SUMMARY OF STAFF RECOMMENDATION
Coastal Commission staff‘s reasons for recommending approval of the City of Newport Beach
Item 17a – Application No. 5-21-0640

The California Coastal Commission is preparing to consider permitting plans for an important Newport Harbor dredging project. The City of Newport Beach would like to remind residents about the critical need for this project and clarify key topics, including the rigorous environmental analysis that supports the proposal.

Dredging Newport Harbor is critical to maintain safe navigation and a well-functioning harbor. Over the past several decades, sediment has washed down into Newport Bay and accumulated at the bottom of Newport Harbor, which reduces water depths, impedes navigation and diminishes natural tidal flushing. Periodic dredging of Newport Harbor is essential to maintain safe, navigable waterways for recreational, commercial and public safety vessels; increase necessary ocean water flushing to support good water quality and habit and support the economic vitality of the harbor. In total, the project will dredge and remove about 1.2 million cubic yards of accumulated sediment, therefore returning the waterways to their original depths of -10 to -20 feet. Without dredging, sediment will continue to build up, making navigation more difficult and dangerous and decrease tidal flushing, leading to more stagnant water conditions.

To Residents, Yachtsmen and Newport Harbor Users:

The City of Newport Beach has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers for several years on a significant dredging project that will bring Newport Harbor to its authorized design depth which will enhance water quality, allow the bay to properly flush thus eliminating the need to dredge again for many years, remove some unsuitable materials that are lying on the floor of the bay today, and provide for the long term navigability of our harbor.

The Newport Beach City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in May 2021 and directed staff to proceed with securing permits for the project. The EIR is posted on the City’s website here.

The Newport Harbor Foundation has learned that there are a few in the community that are spreading spurious misinformation about the project and the Newport Harbor Foundation believes that it is important that presenting those interested in the dredging project be provided with the facts.

Chairman Murray and Members of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board:

My name is Dennis Durgan and I serve as Chairman of the Newport Harbor Foundation. The Foundation was founded in 2019 for the purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing Newport Harbor for the benefit of the City of Newport Beach, the homeowners on or near the bay, the commercial operators in the bay, and the recreational users of the bay. The Foundation’s founders, contributors, and members are made up of individuals and business who have a long history of using and enjoying the harbor and a vested interest in its enhancement and preservation for use by current and future generations. On behalf the Foundation and its Board of Directors, I am reaching out to you to express our support for the currently pending project for dredging of Newport Harbor and construction of the confined aquatic disposal (CAD) site.

Hello friends of the Newport Harbor Foundation,

There is an urgent issue we need a little help with… something that impacts one of our favorite local playgrounds – the Newport Harbor.

After years of lobbying the federal government for help, the City of Newport Beach has obtained grants of almost $16 million to pay for dredging of the harbor which will significantly enhance the quality of water and create safer boat passage in the harbor. Along with the dredging process, there is a process called CAD (contained aquatic disposal) which places unsuitable material now existing in the harbor into a safe and secure location deep below the harbor bed. This process is totally safe and has been used for many years all over the country, including harbors in California.