Editorial: Dredging project was a success

Editorial writers mostly use their space to identify, and often rail against, problems. But on occasion we like to laud a job well done. Today is one of those days.

So here's a hat tip to Newport Beach, which finished the dredging of the Rhine Channel a month ahead of schedule. The work was performed by Dutra Dredging, which transported some 90,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment to Long Beach, where the local port will use it as fill dirt for a construction project. The partnership with Long Beach resulted in generous cost savings for Newport, which would have otherwise had to truck the dirt inland for expensive disposal.

The dredging project removed dirt that contained mercury, pesticides and other toxic chemicals — the byproducts of the canneries, shipyards and other commercial operations that once worked Newport Harbor. There is still work to be done to both deepen and cleanse the harbor, and the dredging will continue, but the Rhine work was a milestone.

Orange County Coastkeeper, the city, Dutra and other organizations deserve the credit for a decade of advocacy that led to the improved waterway. But even area residents did their part, moving their boats to make way for the dredgers. This was a true community project with a clear community benefit.

We all win when our greatest asset, the gorgeous Orange Coast waterfront, is improved.

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