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.