The Orange County public works and other entities maintain the Santa Ana River flood control channel from where it begins up in Big Bear down to the ocean where it deposits the flow of all of the storm drains that are attached to it. The Santa Ana River watershed is the largest urbanized watershed in Southern California so it is easy to see why our chapter of Surfrider Foundation is very concerned about what happens inside of this flood control channel.
Since 2014 the orange county public works has been planning and executing a project that eliminates excess sand and plant debris on the bottom of the concrete and earthen portions of the flood control channel between the 405 freeway crossing and the Pacific Ocean.
Below is a picture of the channel before the excess sand was removed from the concrete portion of the channel. The Newport Beach Chapter regularly teams up with OCPW twice a year to do cleanups on Earth Day and California Inner Coastal Cleanup Day.
Here is a picture as they were working on it in the concrete portion back in 2014.
The Newport Beach chapter of Surfrider Foundation has been watching this closely and is very excited about the results and the maintenance that will be able to be done now that the design grade level has been accomplished. In 2014 thousands of cubic yards of sand were removed from the concrete bottom portion of the channel from where the 405 freeway crosses to just north of the Adams Street bridge in Costa Mesa. It was then filtered and delivered to cities that are in line to receive this sand. It took over a year in order for the Orange County public works to receive permission in order to finish this project. Now they are removing excess sand from the earthen portion of the channel just north of the Adams Street bridge all the way down to the ocean. After cleaning, some of this sand will be delivered to the city of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and San Clemente and some of the sand will be piped out to an area in the ocean where it will be closely monitored. In years past they have done this type of dredging and piping with the large ABS pipe that sits on top of the sand going down from the Santa Ana River mouth to south of 54th Street.
This year the pipe will be buried but the process will be similar. You will be able to see the dredging process happen inside the flood control channel just north of Pacific Coast Highway. For more details go here.