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Newport CAD Update

We are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Newport Beach to take further action to protect Newport Bay and its biota from the disposal of dredged, contaminated sediment in the City’s proposed Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) facility.

The City of Newport Beach proposed the CAD facility to address underwater sediment buildup in the harbor’s main channel. Samples of the polluted sediment showed exceedances too high in mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to qualify for disposal in the EPA-approved offshore dump site known as LA-3.

In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City plans to dredge areas of Newport Bay and bury the removed sediment in a hole under the harbor’s turning basin. Because the dredged material is highly polluted with toxic chemicals, the City will eventually cover the hole with layers of less contaminated sediment to act as a partial barrier.

On January 5, 2023, we sent the Army Corps a 60-day notice of intent to file a lawsuit for failing to consider the project’s potential impacts on wildlife under the Endangered Species Act.

We made the Army Corps aware of these issues in early 2022, yet the agency declared the CAD had no significant environmental impact.

Read our full press release here. 

Seeking Legal Director

After five years at the helm of the legal department, Senior Staff Attorney Sarah Spinuzzi is stepping away for another opportunity. Her impact on our organization and the protection of Orange County’s water can not be understated! In her place, we are seeking an experienced attorney to lead our legal team.

Please help us distribute this announcement far and wide to friends and colleagues.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At our January 2023 board of directors meeting, a new “Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan,” also known as JEDI, was unanimously adopted. This plan was created after months of research and development by the staff, led by Deputy Director of Programs Dyana Peña.

The purpose of this plan is to comply with Waterkeeper Quality Standard #14, which requires our organization to adopt a JEDI plan including the following:

  1. A brief narrative or a map identifying where Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), or other disparately impacted communities are located within our watershed.
  2. A specific explanation (or at least three direct examples) of how our organization conducts outreach to these communities and works to help them with their watershed-related issues.
  3. An approved organizational JEDI plan, or equivalent document, to grow and maintain diversity within the structure of our organization (Board, Staff, Volunteers, Members) and ensure policies are in place to include diverse community perspectives.
Collecting Oyster Shells for Restoration Projects

This past week, we collected dozens of empty oyster shells from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project for our marine restoration program. Before implementing them into one of our Olympia oyster projects, the shells must be left outside to dry for at least a year. Fortunately for our waters, Irvine Ranch Water District has set aside an area of their Marsh Campus for our shell storage!

Learn more about our Olympia oyster and Living Shorelines restoration projects on our marine restoration webpage.

Thank You to Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii

You can’t make good coffee without clean water! One of Orange County’s newest and tastiest coffee shops, Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii in Tustin, has made a big splash at Coastkeeper. Since opening its doors last fall, its team has contributed to our Toast the Coast annual fundraiser, donated 10% of grand opening proceeds, and provided brain fuel for our recent strategic planning meeting.

Be sure to check out their cafe on 17th Street in Tustin and tell them we sent you!

Dive Deeper with Coastkeeper

Learn about the new PFAS regulations impacting California on our Instagram.
Read about our recent Newport Beach cleanup in the Daily Pilot.
Read how inland trash affects our beaches and oceans in the Orange County Register.
Read about the recent King Tides event in the Daily Pilot.