Officially known as the Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project, this roughly $50 million undertaking was completed in fall 2010. The project was funded 65% by federal money and 35% by state/local money, and was managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
A key part of the work was the widening and deepening of two large basins (known as Basin I/III and Basin II) which are designed to capture as much as possible of the sediment that washes into the bay during heavy winter storms. Roughly two million tons of sediment was removed. Most of the material was unsuitable for reuse and it was transported by barge to a designated deepwater disposal site about three miles offshore.
The enlargement of Basin I/III near Jamboree Road required the partial removal of one of the islands used as a nesting area by terns and skimmers. Thus a new island was created at end the old salt dike next to Basin II.