It sure feels like summer is right around the corner, and there is significant positive news regarding COVID-19, so hopefully things will get more normal here on the waterfront.  I believe that life will never be the same, as thorough use of hand sanitizer, possible continued use of some mask wearing and some reasonable distancing will likely be the norm well into the future.

This is the time of year where we start planning for the Harbor events, and we are making some decisions without really knowing for certain what the future holds.  At this point, we are making the following plans:

  • We are planning to have a Junior Lifeguards program; however, we will offer only one session instead of two. It will be a full program, but the number of available participation slots will be 50% of normal.
  • We are planning a full concert series at Peninsula Park, which will begin in early July and run through early September. Appropriate distancing protocols in place at that time will be required.
  • We will plan for the Father’s Day car show on June 30, as well as a couple of other regular car shows.
  • Regarding a Fourth of July fireworks show, funding is again the issue. The GoFundMe effort last year did not get us near our goal.  Given the financial impact of COVID-19, it is certain that we will not be able to fund the fireworks show this year, which costs nearly $100,000 with associated costs.

With regards to the Harbor Visioning Process, we should receive the draft final report from our consultant next week.  If you attended the virtual workshop on January 28, you saw that we have six “developable” areas in the Harbor.  Our intention is to search for developers through a transparent request for proposals process, and identify developers which want to invest in the Harbor and hopefully match the development desires identified in the visioning process.  If you were not able to attend the virtual workshop, you can view the entire workshop by using a link on our website.

Another significant component of the visioning is the improvements which should be made in the public areas of the Harbor, most notably the streets surrounding the Harbor.  We will continue to refine the consultant’s recommendations on the “public realm,” develop cost estimates associated with those improvements, and develop a plan for implementation.  In a perfect world, we will be improving the public areas at the same time developers are developing the developable parcels in the Harbor, and together they will create the Channel Islands Harbor we have dreamed about.

Keep safe, and let us all work together to end, or at least control this pandemic so we can continue to see some normalcy in and around the Harbor.

As always, live every day to the fullest.

Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this story was published on March 8, 2021.