Ventura County Harbor Patrol Better Equipped to Respond to Oil Spills

Ventura County’s Harbor Patrol is now better equipped to respond to large scale oil spills thanks to a $35,000 grant awarded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The grant, awarded in May 2018, provided funds for the Harbor Department to purchase an equipment trailer, oil response containment booms, absorbent booms and pads, anchors, tool boxes, decontamination equipment, and other items.

Ventura County Harbormaster Gary Hirtensteiner said the purchase of the equipment will allow Harbor Patrol to serve as first-responders to a large scale oil spill prior to a larger State and Federal agency response.

“Minutes matter during a large scale disaster such as an oil spill,” Hirtensteiner said. “As part of our regular duties, the Harbor Patrol has routinely responded to small scale oil and fuel spills within the Harbor. With this new equipment, our team is now ready to respond to larger scale spills nearby while State and Federal agencies gear up and mobilize.”

On Aug. 22, 2018, Harbor Patrol conducted a training exercise to test the new equipment.

The training included becoming familiar and using the new equipment. Two Harbor Patrol boats pulled 200 feet of containment booms out into the Channel Islands Harbor while a trainer taught best practices for developing and maintaining the new equipment.