Funding Approved for Marina del Rey Dredging Project

With today’s approval by the Board of Supervisors of a $1.6 million contribution, the County of Los Angeles has secured all the necessary funding to begin a major dredging project in Marina del Rey. Navigation into the Marina through the harbor’s north entrance from the Pacific Ocean has become hazardous and extremely restricted over the last several years due to the buildup of sand on the ocean floor near the north jetty. This dredging project will return the north entrance to its design depth of 20 feet and will place the clean sand removed from the area offshore from Dockweiler Beach to aid in beach replenishment.

Dredging of areas in and around the north entrance will be supervised by the United States Army Corps of Engineers as this navigation area is designated as a federal channel. The County offered to the Corps its financial assistance in order to complete the project, which will cost a minimum of $2.4 million. Approximately $1.4 million of the funding is expected to come from the Corps through the Federal budget. The additional $1.6 million financial contribution, approved by the Board of Supervisors today, will cover the remaining financial need and any unforeseen project costs. Any portion of the County’s contribution that is unused at the end of the project will be returned to County coffers.

The clean sand removed from dredging the Marina del Rey north entrance will be transported to an area just offshore from Dockweiler Beach near Imperial Boulevard in water approximately 15 to 30 feet deep. Underwater ocean currents will progressively push this new sand onshore along Dockweiler Beach and other South Bay beaches, replenishing beach sand washed away during winter storms in recent years.

The dredging project is scheduled to begin in December 2006 and be complete by March 15, 2007, well in advance of the peak summer season in the Marina. Work is expected to take place 24-hours a day and six or seven days a week. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors will work with other agencies to ensure local residents, businesses and boaters are kept informed of the project’s progress and any potential impact on services. Additional buoys will be placed to help mariners avoid impacted areas in the Marina entrance.

This dredging project is going to lead to a number of important benefits for our community, said Supervisor Knabe. It will ensure that emergency response vessels from the Coast Guard, Lifeguards, and Fire and Sheriff’s Departments that are based in the Marina can safely navigate out of the channel to respond to emergencies and rescues along the Pacific Coastline. Also important is the improvement in public safety for navigating in and out of the channel for the 5,000 privately-owned vessels in the Marina. Finally, Dockweiler and our other South Bay beaches will benefit from a much-needed infusion of new sand thanks to the replenishment project.