Channel Islands Community Association Roundtable on CI Harbor

By George Miller

A discussion on improving Channel  Islands Harbor for residents, businesses and other stakeholders

The Channel Islands Community Association (CICA)  was established to unify community action on matters of interest to harbor residents, businesses and the greater community which can benefit from it. It’s been active about a year and a half and meets every week or two, usually with about 10-15 people participating.

CICA4-8-15 033

(L-R) Peter Godinez & Bob Allen (KADYTV), Tom Danza, Scott Bernsten, Anita Mays, Bill Clark, Audrey Keller, Werner Keller, Mike Mercadante. (Photo:

From their web site:

Our Purpose

  • We are committed to creating a future for the Channel Islands Community which we can all be proud.
  • Create a flourishing natural beach Community which retains a welcoming vacation destination personality
  • Work and be treated as “One Harbor Community” by the City and the County
  • Establish a Community Goverenance Model which proactively engages stakeholders in the shaping of their community


Introduction to CICA by Anita Mays:

They wish to combine action on the northern, mostly residential and newer portion of the harbor (North of Channel Islands Blvd./bridges) with the lower  portion, which is mostly commercial, with marinas, restaurants, marine-related businesses, hotels and multi-family residential apartments.

The group feels that the harbor has not been well-managed by the county and that the people of Oxnard do not have any control over what happens in their own borders in the lower harbor. They wish to see a harbor authority established to control development and operation of the harbor and see more and better private development.

They also work on areas currently within city control, such as police patrols, water quality, seawall maintenance, canal water circulation, pumps, storm runoff,  etc.

CICA sees that the harbor has enormous potential as a tourist magnet, recreation facility and revenue generator and wants to see that realized, while keeping it livable and accessible.  One member told us that he and his wife dined at the now derelict, abandoned Lobster Trap Restaurant when it was at the zenith of its condition and popularity. It was THE place to go, along with the Casa Sirena next door. He said it was the most expensive meal he ever had, because that experience ultimately led them to buy and relocate at the harbor. They lament the decay of the lower harbor over the subsequent years and want to help turn it around.

The Association would also like to see a marine center in the harbor, to focus on research and education.

All  of the current association leaders who spoke are residents of Mandalay Bay, Seabridge or Westport developments: Tom Danza- Mandalay Bay, Scott Bernstein- Seabridge, Bill Clark- Mandalay Bay, Werner Keller- Westport, Mike Mercadante- Westport. Also in attendance were Bonnie Mercadante, Audrey Keller and Anita Mays. There are more very active and effective members.



Video by



CICA Roundtable, moderated by Peter Godinez (left)

Contact: [email protected] 

Web site:

Previous interview with Werner Keller:




George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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