Press Releases

Fiscal Year 2009 Emergency Supplemental Requests

Project Title: Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration
Recipient:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Location:  Newport Beach, California
Amount Requested:  Authorization Language

The Army Corps of Engineers has included the Upper Newport Bay ecosystem restoration project in its spending plan for Civil Works projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The $17.3 million included in the spending plan will complete the federal contribution and the project.  However, this amount is above the authorized level.  I am requesting the following language in the Supplemental to raise the authorized cap in order to allow the Army Corps to complete the project with the funding it has already allocated:

The project for ecosystem restoration, Upper Newport Bay, California, authorized by section 101(b)(9) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (114 Stat. 2577), is modified to authorize the Secretary to construct the project at a total cost of $50,659,000, with an estimated Federal cost of $32,928,000 and a non-Federal cost of $17,731,000.

Upper Newport Bay is one of the largest remaining tidal wetlands between Los Angeles and the Mexico border, providing habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds along the Pacific Flyway.  The project is supported by the City of Newport Beach, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and the California State Coastal Conservancy.  Once the Army Corps has completed its work with these funds, the local agencies will maintain the bay wetlands and reduce the sediments and contaminants that caused the salt marsh to deteriorate in the first place.

With enactment of this language, the Army Corps will be able to issue one contract for the entire project.  If the cost ceiling is not raised, the Army Corps will issue a contract now, and will have to wait for Congress to provide a revised authorization for a second contract, probably at increased cost.  This project is in line with the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:  It will produce jobs, stimulate the economy, and will be completed with these funds within the next two years.