City of Newport Beach
Additional Files

Additional Information

Skimming the Waters of Newport Habor

Project Location:

Newport Harbor, Newport Beach, CA

Project Description:

The City of Newport Beach recently designed and installed specialized trash skimmers in Newport Bay to remove large amounts of floating trash and debris.  The Trash Skimmer System consist of stationary units that are strategically placed at six different collection points within Newport Harbor. Designed around the principal of water displacement, the skimmer works 24/7 filtering and adding oxygen to water while trapping trash and other debris inside. The skimmer not only collects floating trash, but also removed the oil sheen from the water surface.

Project Justification:

Very few harbors are exempt from being a collection point for floating trash.  It’s currently estimated that there is six times more plastic floating in the ocean than plankton and much of that plastic at some point has found its way into harbors; Newport Harbor is no exception. The marina trash skimmer uses water displacement to move about 300 gallons of water per minute. It has an oil free motor and the electrical costs to operate the skimmer are minimal. Water enters the simmer and before it gets pumped out, it goes down through a grid for removal of debris then gets oxygenated by an aeration pump. During the process, the addition of oxygen reacts with pollutants in the water creating a chemical reaction that oxidizes chemicals in the water adding to their removal. The skimmers are especially successful at removing the “oil slick” often seen on the surface of the water. We’ve seen significant amounts of marine debris removed by these skimmers. Previously we had a small boat and a staff member out on the water cleaning up floating debris. The skimmers have taken over this duty completely. Instead of having staff chase debris around the harbor, the skimmer does the work and all we need to do is empty it. Oh, and the skimmers works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Special Circumstances:

The skimmer was designed by Louis Pasoz, an Orange County resident, long time surfer and water quality advocate.  The City of Newport Beach has partnered with Mr. Pasoz to not only install the skimmers, but assist with testing a new prototype and upgrades and enhancements to the existing skimmers. Newport Beach is committed to improving and helping to keep Newport Harbor as one of the cleanest in the country.  Additionally, the City has partnered with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to provide funding for this unique project.

Project Attachments:

15,000 gallons of debris removed from Newport Harbor this calendar year

Award Citation::

This program is unique in that’s it’s only true “end of pipe” cost effective way to remove trash/debris from Newport Harbor.  Think of a swimming pool cleaner on a very grand scale. It’s truly an innovative project.

Suggested Award Summary:

This project is more about what can be done to positively affect the environment. Folks that use live, work and enjoy our precious Bay know what an awful experience it is to see so much floating debris. This project will leave a legacy of positive change for the environment.


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