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Michael Tripp Named New Channel Islands Harbor Director

The previous director Mark Sandoval announced his retirement earlier this year due to health reasons.

CHANNEL ISLANDS一 Channel Islands Harbor is getting a new director. Michael Tripp from Marina del Rey has been named as the new Channel Islands Harbor Director after receiving an appointment from Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers.

Tripp comes from a 20-year career with Los Angeles County, where he spent the past ten years working with the Department of Beaches and Harbors, overseeing 24 miles of beaches and redeveloping Marina del Rey Harbor.

Tripp held several positions with the county, from regional planning, which allowed him to be directly involved with revitalizing Marina del Rey to the public information counter, where he was able to create strong working relationships with the public.

Tripp believes there are many opportunities to change and revitalize Channel Islands Harbor and give the harbor a fresh breath of air moving forward.

“What I am most looking forward to is really getting a handle on what kind of opportunities that we have there,” said Tripp. “You know, for me, it almost feels like a blank slate up there, so I really want to get up there and really getting a lay of the land and start bringing that place I should say start making that place something beautiful that the public will want to come to.”

Part of Tripp’s plans for the harbor is to turn some of the older parcels into restaurants or retail opportunities. But overall, Tripp said he wants to create more public-serving pieces to entice the public to come down and enjoy the harbor and may take a couple of pages out of the book from Marina del Rey.

“Something we were able to do here in Marina del Rey that worked out really well is public promenades,” said Tripp. “We put 28-foot-wide promenades around any of the parcels that were redeveloped. They are beautiful; they have nice features like benches with shades on them, drinking valves, bike racks, things like that so the public can, you know, park their car down here and then get out on foot and go enjoy the harbor the way it is meant to be seen.”

Although Tripp comes from a harbor background, he acknowledges that harbors are different. There will be a bit of learning as he navigates what the community wants and the finer nuances of Channel Islands Harbor.

“It is going to be a steep learning curve. Like I said, I have been in Marina del Rey these past 20 years. Although the harbors are similar, it is going to be a whole new ball game up there,” said Tripp.

The new appointment begins on Oct. 4, and Tripp has his work cut out for him as he navigates the new position and the legacy left behind by his predecessor.

“The first thing I would like to do is get in there and start talking to people. Start walking around the harbor getting to know it,” said Tripp. “The previous director Mark Sandoval already did a revisioning project…that is going to be one of the first things I look at so I can get a good feel of what this community wants and what they would like to see done to the harbor. So that and just getting out and talking to people getting an idea of what the community would like to see down there.”

The previous director Mark Sandoval announced his retirement on June 24 after choosing to prematurely retire due to health reasons. The revisioning project was introduced in January and included concepts for a water taxi, a multi-trail system to connect the harbor, and a marine education center.

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