February 2021 Director’s Message

The more things change the more they stay the same.  2021 is feeling a lot like 2020, even though we have COVID vaccines rolling out and a new administration in the White House.  Can’t we all just get along??  Hopefully in the near future the vaccines will make a difference, and everyone can start concentrating on the future and not the past.

Speaking of the future, the Harbor Visioning Process is coming to a completion, which will identify the framework for future development in the Harbor.  Thank you to those who took the time to attend the virtual workshop and provide input on January 28.  If you were not able to attend, you can go to our website, channelislandsharbor.org/visioning, and link to the full workshop video and also have the opportunity to answer the poll questions.

The workshop included a plethora of ideas regarding the potential future development for the Harbor.  We saw renderings and schematics regarding parcels which will need private developers as well as ideas for the public areas and transportation links within the Harbor.  Both will create their own set of challenges.  The private development areas will need to allow “visioned” projects which will enhance the Harbor, maintain the culture of the Harbor, and be attractive to private developers, who will only develop if they are financially worthwhile.  The public areas will require interagency cooperation, and more importantly will require creative financing strategies.  We definitely have our work cut out for us, but the visioning has resulted in a better understanding as to what we want in the Harbor and what it will take to get us there.

Another positive note is that the biennial dredging project has been completed, and the dredge company is now de-mobilizing the equipment.  This dredging project is done in compliance with a Federal arrangement which dates back to the creation of the Harbor in the 1960s.  When Port of Hueneme was built in the 1930s, and then taken over by the Navy during World War II, it became evident that the Port interrupted the natural southern migration of the sand, which started severely impacting the coastline from the city of Port Hueneme south to Point Mugu.  The solution was to “trap” the sand north of the Port, and then move it via a dredge project south of the Port every two years.

The Channel Islands Harbor was created as part of the solution, and the sand is trapped by the northern jetty of the Harbor for two years, and then moved to the beach of Port Hueneme via the winter dredging project every two years.  Part of the dredged sand is deposited on Silver Strand Beach to widen that beach as well.

This dredging project is admittedly inconvenient for many beachfront homeowners and visitors, as the dredge pipe extends the length of Silver Strand Beach, and the noise of the dredge equipment, which operates 24-hours a day, can be trying on the nerves at times.  Thankfully, the project is complete, and we don’t have to worry about it until late 2022.

As always, live every day to the fullest.

Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this message was published on Feb. 9, 2021.