Clients: Simons, Li and Associates, Inc.; County of Orange; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

To mitigate the largest flood threat west of the Mississippi River, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers undertook a major redesign of the Santa Ana River Outlet between Newport and Huntington Beaches in Orange County, California. The challenges posed by this project included relocating the mouth of the Talbert Channel (a flood control channel in Huntington Beach), creating a new 92-acre tidal marsh off the Santa Ana River, enhancing an existing tidal marsh off the Talbert Channel, and providing nesting habitat for the endangered Least Tern while minimizing the loss of usable beach area and the impact on beachgoers.

Coastal Frontiers provided conceptual and preliminary coastal engineering design support for the upgraded Santa Ana River Outlet, and conceptual through final design support for the new Talbert Channel Outlet.

Talbert Channel and Santa Ana River Jetties

Project Contributions

  • Analysis of coastal sediment transport and historical shoreline changes since construction of the original Santa Ana River Jetties in 1934

  • Analysis of the tidal exchange available to support wetland restoration

  • Design of quarrystone jetties for the Talbert Channel Outlet to provide reliable tidal exchange while maintaining the existing littoral transport regime

  • Three-dimensional model testing of wave propagation up the Talbert Channel during storm events

  • Presentation of project features and mitigative strategies at meetings with the regulatory agencies and general public

The Talbert Channel Project was selected as the outstanding Civil Engineering achievement in ASCE District 111 for 1994.