Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and downcoast beaches will receive an influx of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that will soon be underway.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on schedule to start dredging the Channel Islands Harbor in mid-October 2020. Equipment will be staged at the Harbor beginning in early October. The dredging project is scheduled to be completed in February 2021, but there is a chance inclement weather and/or equipment issues could extend the planned completion date.
The hydraulic dredge “H.R. Morris” will be staging and conducting maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance on a 24-hour basis. The dredging activity will be taking place in various locations in and around the harbor entrance and sand trap area of Hollywood Beach.
The Army Corps typically dredges every two years, and has done so for decades under legislation that authorized the small craft harbor and sand trap to be built in the early 1960s. The harbor was designed to trap sand to prevent loss to the submarine canyon off of Port Hueneme and to provide dredged material for beach replenishment for downcoast beaches. The replenishment provides vital shore protection for downcoast facilities, including the Naval installations at Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, the Port of Hueneme, the City of Port Hueneme and our own Silver Strand beach.
It is estimated approximately 2 million cubic yards of sand will be pumped from the harbor down to the beach at Port Hueneme, which erodes over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. The last time the harbor was dredged was December 2018 to February 2019.
Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds
Congress allocated $13 million in federal funding to the Army Corps to complete the dredging project at Channel Islands Harbor. Additional matching federal funds are allocated through the Navy budget.
Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said funding for the dredging projects couldn’t have been made possible without the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose district includes the Channel Islands Harbor.
“The Harbor Department would like to thank Congresswoman Brownley, who has steadfastly fought alongside local leaders to secure funding for these critical projects in Ventura County,” Director Sandoval said. “This project is vital to the beaches downcoast from the Channel Islands Harbor which are subject to continual erosion, and to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor.”
Editor's Note: this story was published on September 25, 2020.