Big Canyon Creek Restoration and Estuary Adaptation Project: Phase 2A Implementation

Location: Orange County

Project Type: Restoration

Status: Current

Cost: $1,049,991

Area Affected: 11.32 acres

Project Footprint: 0.2 stream miles

Assembly District: 74

Senate District: 37

Congressional District: 48

Project Lead/Grantee: Newport Bay Conservancy, Amanda Swanson

Project Lead Website:

The Newport Bay Conservancy (NBC) will prepare final designs and implement restoration of 11.32 acres of coastal sage upland, riparian, and freshwater marsh habitats in the Phase 2A project area within the 60-acre Big Canyon Nature Park in the City of Newport Beach and County of Orange.

The project will improve the water quality, restore natural riparian habitat, and protect and restore estuary habitats. The project will remove a dense, invasive Brazilian peppertree forest, lay back Big Canyon Creek’s banks to address incision and reconnect the creek to the floodplain, and restore native habitats that are resilient to the newly arrived invasive Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer. The project will also enhance public access and education with improved trails and closure of illegal trails.

The project is Phase 2A of a larger watershed restoration and builds upon the lessons-learned and outcomes of the previous phase of restoration (Phase 1), just upstream from the Phase 2A project area. Phase 1 implementation, carried out by the City of Newport Beach in 2017, restored a six-acre parcel including 650 feet of creek restoration, two acres of riparian habitat restoration, and one acre of wetland habitat creation and enhancement for storm water treatment.