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 is underway.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project is a 24/7 operation; however, land operating hours – the use of heavy equipment from the project on land – are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The dredging activity will be taking place in various locations in and around the harbor entrance and sand trap area. The project is scheduled to finish by February 2023, weather permitting.
This year, the contractor is planning to shut down the dredge during the following holiday breaks: Thanksgiving from Nov. 23-27 and Christmas/New Years from Dec. 23 to Jan. 1. During that time, a portable generator will be used to maintain continuous power to critical systems, and a small crew will remain on staff to monitor the equipment.
The Army Corps typically dredges every two years 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, and City of Port Hueneme.
It is estimated approximately 2.5 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 2020 to February 2021.
Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds
Congress allocated $15 million in federal funding to the Army Corps to complete the dredging project at Channel Islands Harbor.
Ventura County Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp 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 fought alongside local leaders to secure funding for critical projects in Ventura County,” Director Tripp said. “This project is vital to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor, maintaining the downcoast beaches that would otherwise be lost to erosion, and helps keep the harbor open for industries that drive the local economy, including fisheries and tourism sectors.”
Editor’s Note: this story was published on Oct. 3, 2022 and was updated on Nov. 1, 2022.