Orange County is planning to receive about $83.2 million in federal money over the next two years to fund watershed and flood-control projects, including the massive effort to reduce the potential for flooding along the Santa Ana River.
While the federal government has already authorized $45.9 million for this fiscal year, an additional $37.3 million is slated for approval with the 2015 federal budget, according to a list of recommended projects the
The bulk of that money — $42 million approved for this year and $30.8 million recommended for 2015 — is designated for the Santa Ana River project, which Congress first approved in 1986.
The project will improve flood protection for communities along a 75-mile stretch of the river that passes through Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
As communities along the river have grown, a county website explains, existing flood-protection systems have grown less effective, including a shrinking of natural areas to absorb rainfall.
Among the spots to be improved are several dams and a degraded marsh at the mouth of the river, near the border of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.
So far, the project has cost about $1.8 billion. The work is projected to be complete in the early 2020s.
Two other much smaller projects were also pegged for funds in