Happy Holidays everyone! It’s quickly becoming the most wonderful time of the year here at the Channel Islands Harbor. Holiday lights are shining, boat decorations are going up, the weather is remaining pleasant, and there are thrilling things occurring in the Harbor.

Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap

I’m excited to share that preparation for the demolition of the Casa Sirena Hotel and Lobster Trap Restaurant will begin at the end of December. This includes securing the property, removing hazards, communicating with nearby Harbor residents, and other necessary mitigation measures.

This is great news for the Harbor and I’m glad a new chapter is being written for this location. I’m confident the demolition and development of a new hotel will reinvigorate the Harbor along with its residents, visitors, and local businesses.

Requests for Proposal at the Whale’s Tail & Anacapa Boatyard Sites

Earlier this year the Harbor Department issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) for two locations in need of redevelopment. As a part of the process, once RFPs are received, they are reviewed by the Harbor Department and a Harbor Advisory Committee comprised of residents, businesses, and the City of Oxnard.

The first RFP issued was for the location of the Whale’s Tail Restaurant. Two responses were received and reviewed. During the review process, it was determined that time would be extended for this RFP process. The additional time allowed for revisions to the RFP and provides more time for new and existing applicants to complete their submitted proposals.

A second RFP issued was for the parcel where the Anacapa Boatyard currently operates. A proposal that includes lodging was received and reviewed. The applicant will be contacted, and more information will be requested regarding this proposal.

Harbor Holiday Activities

Holiday season kicks off the first weekend of the month at the Channel Islands Harbor with the 2nd Annual Holiday Food & Toy Drive.

The event, a partnership between the Harbor Department and the Harbor & Beach Community Alliance (HBCA), will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 4, 2021 at Fisherman’s Wharf.

In its first year, the food and toy drive efforts at the Harbor resulted in the collection of 5,000 lbs. of non-perishable food, money donations of nearly $14,000, and 2,200 toys collected.

Like last year, the Holiday Food & Toy Drive will be a drive-through and drop-off event, which will benefit Food Share of Ventura County and the Spark of Love Toy Drive, an annual effort coordinated by local fire departments. There is so much need in communities County-wide. This event is a perfect way to give to those less fortunate in our area.  I’ll personally be working the event this year, and look forward to meeting members of the community.

While the Food & Toy Drive is in its second year, a time-honored tradition in the Harbor, the Parade of Lights, is back after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Please join us for the 55th Annual Parade of Lights, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11th. “Jingle Jungle” will be the theme for this year’s parade. We are currently accepting applications for the parade. Bring out the decorations and good cheer and participate in the parade. If you cannot be on the water, plan to view the parade from one of our waterside restaurants, or the Harbor promenade and get into the Holiday spirit.

The holidays are a special time of year that bring together family, friends, and colleagues. I hope you can find time to come enjoy some of the exciting events we have planned.

Michael Tripp, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this story was published on Nov. 30, 2021.