Casa Sirena Project Update
The scheduled demolition of the Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap property began in December 2021 and was completed in June 2022.
From January 2023 to May 2023, a construction project to replace the revetment surrounding a portion of the Harbor's peninsula took place.
The completion of the revetment project now clears the way for Brighton Management to build a Hyatt House, which will feature 210 rooms in a 55-foot structure and occupy approximately 203,000 square feet along the Channel Islands Harbor waterfront.
The original Casa Sirena hotel, constructed in 1972, had 197 rooms with additional space for meetings. The proposed development of the site will include a new Hyatt House Hotel and a restaurant of up to 5,000 square feet, similar to, but not smaller than, the former Lobster Trap Restaurant which was located nearby.
Fisherman's Wharf Project Update
Update posted 4/26/2023
A proposal to revitalize Fisherman’s Wharf into a visitor-serving center, Karls Adventure Village, has moved one step closer to coming to fruition.
At its April 25, 2023 meeting, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved and authorized the Ventura County Harbor Department to enter an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with Robert Dahl, a German-based strawberry farmer and developer. In 1992, Dahl founded the flagship Karl’s Adventure Village and has since expanded operations to 7 other locations in Germany.
Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said the 12-month ERN allows Dahl’s development team the time to form its ownership entity, begin design and construction analysis, work with the community to gather more feedback regarding features of the project, secure funding and negotiate terms of long-term lease agreement with the County. At the end of the ERN period, the Karl’s team should have a specific project plan to present to the Harbor Department, Board of Supervisors and California Coastal Commission for approval.
“The Harbor Department couldn’t be more pleased with the Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow Robert Dahl’s team to move forward with developing this exciting new plan for Fisherman’s Wharf,” Director Tripp said. “We would like to thank Karls for its extensive community outreach efforts so far and expect more of the same as the process moves forward.”
Karls Adventure Village at the Channel Islands Harbor would refurbish existing buildings and create new structures that would include restaurants, a specialty market, gift shops, toy and book shops, a coffee shop, public promenades, as well as a potential small hotel, playgrounds, park areas, and small children’s rides.
“We imagine that a Karl’s village at the Channel Islands Harbor would revitalize the wharf area with dining, retail, recreation, and entertainment activities for people of all ages and families of all economic backgrounds,” Robert Dahl said. “Our goal is to create a lively space that creates value along the water.”
Director Tripp said a variety of factors contributed to the Harbor Department’s recommendation, which followed a Request for Proposals (RFP) period, a public meeting to seek feedback from the public regarding three developers to redevelop Fisherman’s Wharf, and 12 additional public outreach workshops by the Karls team to discuss the proposal and gather feedback.
“Based on their track record of successfully developing properties, which included the reuse of several existing buildings, Dahl’s willingness to conform with current zoning, and the project’s goal of providing low-cost visitor-serving amenities to families of all economic backgrounds, I firmly believe this proposed project will fit well at Fisherman’s Wharf and will be an attraction that generations of families will want to visit for years to come,” Director Tripp said.
Whale's Tail Project Update
Update posted 5/18/2023
The Ventura County Harbor Department is seeking a developer to redevelop the parcel where the Whale's Tail restaurant formerly operated. Interested parties should contact Harbor Department Lease Manager Jeff Arnold at 805-973-5955.
Jetty and Breakwater Project at the Channel Islands Harbor
Much Needed Repair Work Starts at Channel Islands Harbor Entrance
Update posted 5/10/21
Aged jetties and the offshore breakwater at the Channel Islands Harbor entrance will receive much needed repairs in the coming months.
The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has funded a project to conduct repairs to two parallel entrance jetties and the protective offshore breakwater near the entrance of the Harbor. This week, Connolly Pacific mobilized equipment – a crane-equipped barge, support vessels, and a storage barge – and the project is underway.
Due to the nature of this project, the Corps, the Harbor Department, and Connolly Pacific continue to coordinate safety concerns. For public safety, measures are incorporated including posted signs and limiting access within construction site. Also, the Harbor Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting in monitoring the working zone to ensure safe navigation in the channel.
Repair work will consist of replacing approximately 30,000 tons of new armor stone and resetting armor stone as needed. Repairs will be conducted by a barge-mounted crane, barges carrying rock, and other various support vessels. The project is estimated to last until mid-September 2021, but could change depending on weather. Work will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, during the life of the project.
Why Is It Needed?
The project is needed to ensure navigational safety and to prevent further degradation of the structural integrity of the jetties and breakwater. If no work were scheduled on the jetties and breakwater, eventual Harbor closures could result, which would result in a loss to recreational and commercial operations. The last time major maintenance was completed was 1996 to address damages from the 1982-83 storm season and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that this important project is taking place this year,” said Mark Sandoval, Ventura County Harbor Department Director. “This project is protecting and preserving the Harbor’s recreational and economic value.”
The repair project not only benefits the Channel Islands Harbor, but neighboring communities as well. The detached breakwater serves to suspend littoral transport and create sand trap up coast of the Harbor entrance channel. This material is used to nourish the eroding shoreline down coast from the Port of Hueneme, and provides protection to private, public, and Federal lands from further erosion.
Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor
Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor is Complete
Update posted 5/10/21
Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and down coast beaches will receive an influx of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that is complete.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dredging the Channel Islands Harbor in mid-October 2020. Equipment was staged at the Harbor in early October. The dredging project was completed in February 2021.
The hydraulic dredge “H.R. Morris” staged and conducted maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance on a 24-hour basis. The dredging activity took place in various locations in and around the harbor entrance and sand trap area of Hollywood Beach.
The Army Corps typically dredges every two years, and has done so for decades under legislation that authorized the small craft harbor and sand trap to be built in the early 1960s. The harbor was designed to trap sand to prevent loss to the submarine canyon off of Port Hueneme and to provide dredged material for beach replenishment for downcoast beaches. The replenishment provides vital shore protection for downcoast facilities, including the Naval installations at Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, the Port of Hueneme, the City of Port Hueneme and our own Silver Strand beach.
It is estimated approximately 2 million cubic yards of sand was pumped from the harbor down to the beach at Port Hueneme, which erodes over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. The last time the harbor was dredged was December 2018 to February 2019.
Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds
Congress allocated $13 million in federal funding to the Army Corps to complete the dredging project at Channel Islands Harbor. Additional matching federal funds are allocated through the Navy budget.
Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said funding for the dredging projects couldn’t have been made possible without the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose district includes the Channel Islands Harbor.
“The Harbor Department would like to thank Congresswoman Brownley, who has steadfastly fought alongside local leaders to secure funding for these critical projects in Ventura County,” Director Sandoval said. “This project is vital to the beaches down coast from the Channel Islands Harbor which are subject to continual erosion, and to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor.”