March 2022 Director’s Message

It’s been a little more than five months since I’ve been hired at the Channel Islands Harbor and, as many of you know, there’s plenty of projects to be completed. I’ve evaluated and prioritized the Harbor’s short-term needs for public and private projects in 2022. Here are a few projects of interest.

Casa Sirena/Harbor Peninsula

Scheduled demolition of the vacant Casa Sirena site began in December 2021. Green construction fences went up around the property and left some passersby wondering if there was activity happening. Construction crews have been onsite since December 2021 removing hazardous materials, which is ongoing. The more visible aspect of the demolition – the removal of structures – started in mid-February 2022.

Buildings on the north end of the site near Peninsula Park were taken down first due to a fire incident on the property. I want to thank the Oxnard and Ventura County fire departments for their quick responses to the incident. The removal of the structures on the property will continue in the coming months and should be complete by June 2022.

After the removal of the structures, the Harbor Department will hire a contractor to reconstruct the revetment around the Harbor peninsula. The revetment work should be complete in early 2023, opening the door to construction of the new hotel.

Kiddie Beach Parking Lot & Restroom Project

In May 2021 the County Board of Supervisors and City of Oxnard unanimously approved a milestone cooperation agreement for major improvements in the Harbor, agreeing to areas of land use and shared cost of maintenance and infrastructure.

One of the areas of improvement the City of Oxnard agreed to help fund is the repair of the public parking lot and restroom at Kiddie Beach. Kiddie Beach is unique because it is the only dedicated swim beach, and the only area inside the Harbor where swimming is permitted. During warm days, throughout the year, the parking lot fills up quickly. The parking lot and restroom are used frequently and need repair.

The Harbor Department is preparing a scope of work for the project, which is the first step to moving forward with repairs.

Opportunity Parcels

In 2021 the Harbor completed a Visioning Report that looked at some of the more developable parcels in the Harbor. The Harbor Department is drafting, refining, and will release or process Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the Whale’s Tail Restaurant, Anacapa Boatyard, and Fisherman’s Wharf in 2022. Asking applicants to submit RFPs for these parcels will give us a better idea of who is interested and who is qualified.


Public and private development projects are two main ingredients for improving access to the harbor. While those projects will pay off in the long term, I also want to focus on low-cost activities that will bring people to the Harbor now.

One project in 2022 I’m focused on is attracting new monthly and annual events. Having events is beneficial because it provides an opportunity for loyal visitors to come back and introduces newcomers to what the Harbor has to offer. Harbor Department staff is working eagerly and strategically to introduce new events, while balancing existing business, resident, and boating interests. As the year goes on, we will provide announcements on new events.

One event that you are going to want to attend in March 2022 is the 23rd Annual Celebration of the Whales Festival. The festival, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 27th, will feature family-friendly activities at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, shopping at the Farmers Market, a children’s fun zone at Harbor View Park, art for sale, and chalk art.

As you can see, we have a lot to be excited about for 2022. I’m looking forward to seeing projects progress and seeing meaningful changes at the Channel Islands Harbor.

Michael Tripp, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department 

Editor’s Note: this story was published on February 28, 2022.