CHANNEL ISLAND — More sand than has ever been removed from Channel Islands Harbor began spewing out of the dredge pipeline near the Port Hueneme Lighthouse on Oct. 14.
Approximately 2.2 million cubic yards of sand was piped southward to replenish the severely eroded coastline. Dredging was to begin on Oct.1, but since the machinery needed retooling, it took longer than expected for the project to start.
In attendance at an Oct. 14 press conference, Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Kathy Long and John Zaragoza of the County Board of Supervisors, along with Port Hueneme Mayor John Sharkey and District Deputy Engineer David Van Dorpe (Army Corps of Engineers) were on hand to celebrate the project.
“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,” said Lyn Krieger, Channel Islands Harbor director. “Supervisor Long, Congresswoman Brownley, and Congresswoman Lois Capps, have worked incredibly hard along with harbor staff to make sure this happened.”
Two years ago there was only enough funding to remove 700,000 cubic yards of sand. Krieger reached out to local officials to find funding for the project.
Supervisor Long praised and thanked Krieger for her hard work, and for getting a “small but mighty team” together. She also thanked Brownley for doing the hefty lifting in D.C. to get the money and the project moving forward.
“There is only so much money and there is a lot of competition from other ports and harbors for these projects. The effort of Lyn Krieger and the team of local officials, made this day a reality,” Van Dorpe said,
Turning to face the large dredge, Mayor Sharkey pointed and said, “Isn’t that dredge the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? We are so grateful for Julia Brownely’s support and Lyn Krieger for ‘knocking herself out’ on this project.”
In April of last year, the city of Port Hueneme declared a local state of emergency due to severe shoreline erosion. In October of last year, Ventura County declared a state of emergency on behalf of the city of Port Hueneme. The city spent $1.3 million to build a temporary blockade of boulders along 500 feet of beach below the eroded sections of Port Hueneme Surfside Drive, but estimated that an additional $2 million would be needed to erect a blockade along the remaining 900 feet of the beach.
During the development of the harbor in the 1950s, a sand trap was designed to retain sand for placement on Hueneme Beach every two years due to down coast erosion. When the sand is placed on Hueneme Beach it slowly flows southeast and protects Point Mugu (part of Naval Base Ventura County) and the remainder of the coastline toward the Ventura County line.