Each new year offers an exciting opportunity for a fresh start and new beginnings, which is probably why many of us are looking forward to 2022 so much. At the Channel Islands Harbor, there’s a lot to look forward to and plenty of things about 2021 to be thankful for.

Looking back on 2021, many of our businesses either held steady or flourished as residents and visitors came out to the Harbor to enjoy the outdoors and our signature events. Several important infrastructure projects – repairs of the jetties and breakwater, dredging, making improvements for public access at La Jenelle Park – are complete or are nearing completion. These projects ensure our Harbor is safe and accessible for residents, boaters, and visitors.

At the Harbor Department, many of our administrative staff were reassigned as Disaster Service Workers (DSW) to help in the County of Ventura’s pandemic response for the first half of the year. Several of our administrative staff remained at the Harbor throughout the year along with all our Harbor Patrol and Maintenance staff. The employees who remained at the Harbor did a great job in keeping the Harbor functioning, safe, and pristine. I’m thankful for all our dedicated employees and know they will continue to do a great job.

Development in 2022

Moving forward, action on the development front is continuing in a positive trend. The demolition of the vacant Casa Sirena Hotel on the Harbor’s peninsula started on December 27, 2021 and should be complete mid-2022. After the demolition is complete, the Harbor Department will begin to repair the rock revetment around the peninsula, which is necessary before hotel construction begins.

Preparation leading up to the demolition – removing hazards, communicating with nearby Harbor residents, connecting homeless individuals with services – was not an easy feat. I would like to thank the City of Oxnard, County of Ventura agencies, and the non-profit organizations who partnered to connect homeless individuals who were near the demolition site with much needed services. This was an important step in moving the demolition process forward.

In addition to the Casa Sirena site, I’m anticipating the receipt of proposals from developers interested in the site of the former Whale’s Tail Restaurant. Based on community feedback, I know this is another parcel that residents and visitors are eager to see progress on. I couldn’t agree more.

With the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, it’s hard to predict how we might be impacted at the Harbor in 2022. Rest assured, the Harbor Department’s staff will continue to strive to offer recreational, business, and tourism opportunities to Ventura County and its residents and visitors.

Michael Tripp, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

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