OXNARD – In a meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sept. 3, officials for Channel Islands Harbor, learned that dredging of the harbor sand trap will begin Oct. 1. The decision follows months of hard work by harbor and elected officials who were busy advocating for an increases in dredging limits.
Channel Islands Harbor is dredged every year by the Army Corps, with the last project taking place in 2012-2013. At that time, 700,000 cubic meters of sediment was removed for the harbor and 741,000 cubic meters was pulled during the 2011 cycle. Prior limit reductions being placed on harbors, the Corps was removing larger quantities ranging from 1,093,000 cubic meters in 1991 to 1,230,000 cubic meters in 1997
Harbor staff worked with Congresswoman Julie Brownley (D-Oxnard) to ensure Channel Islands Harbor was included in the budget and for more yardage to get the sand trap cleaned out that sit at the harbor entrance. That sand is typically deposited on all beaches south of Channel Islands Harbor.
Channel Islands Harbor Director Lyn Kreiger worked alongside Congresswoman Brownley, who worked diligently in Washington, D.C. to ensure project funding and Supervisor Kathy Long, whose district includes both the city of Port Hueneme and the portion of the Navy Base most affected by loss of sand, on this project.
The result of these efforts is the largest dredging project ever conducted at the Harbor, with more than 2 million cubic yards of sand to be moved to Hueneme Beach. The lowered dredging limits resulted in sand build up at the harbor entrance to the north, which made the entry way only navigable by small recreational boaters.
“After several cycles of less dredging than is required to keep our sand trap and entrance cleared, we are very grateful to have a project of this size,” Kreiger said. “Supervisor Long and Congresswoman Brownley, along with Congresswoman Capps, have worked incredibly hard alongside staff to make sure this happened.”
The Channel Islands Harbor sand trap was designed to retain sand for placement on Hueneme Beach every two years due to regular erosion there. The sand placed on Hueneme Beach flows to the southeast, protecting Point Mugu, part of Naval Base Ventura County, as well as Ormond Beach and the remainder of the coastline down toward the Ventura County line, according to harbor officials.
Congresswoman Brownley said, “This is a great win for Channel Islands Harbor, Hueneme Beach and Ventura County. I was so pleased that we were able to secure scarce but critical funding for this dredging project. From working with local stakeholders, the White House and the Army Corps, it was truly a team effort.”