Dredging at Channel Islands Harbor Scheduled to Start in October

Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and downcoast beaches will receive an influx of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that will soon be underway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is on schedule to start dredging the Channel Islands Harbor in mid-October 2020. Equipment will be staged at the Harbor beginning in early October. The dredging project is scheduled to be completed in February 2021, but there is a chance inclement weather and/or equipment issues could extend the planned completion date.

The hydraulic dredge “H.R. Morris” will be staging and conducting maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance on a 24-hour basis. The dredging activity will be taking 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 will be 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 complete 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 downcoast from the Channel Islands Harbor which are subject to continual erosion, and to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor.” 

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Steven Andrew Gama
Steven Andrew Gama
3 months ago

We are thankful that the 2020 dredge cycle is soon to begin. We are mindful that the Army Core of Engineers determined 1.2 million cubic yards of sand would naturally move south prior to the construction of the Port of Hueneme. The Channel Islands Harbor was constructed to create a Sand Trap. The Sand Trap prevents the sand from being lost into the submarine canyon off of Silver Strand Beach. Prior to the construction of the Port of Hueneme, sand would flow naturally south; however, the Port disrupted the naturally flow of sand. Over the years the funding has remained static which resulted in a shortage of the 1.2 million cubic yards of sand per needed per year. It is further complicated by the fact that dredging occurs every two years. Which means we need 2.4 million cubic yards of sand in order to “mimic” nature. The cumulative effect of the shortage is most visible down coast at Point Mugu. There a rock revetment has been constructed in order to protect infrastructure on the base. It may have to be extended to protect the end of the runway due to the loss of sand. We need to examine a new way to insure we can get caught up in order to minimize the last resort of rock revetments. With a rock revetment there is no beach! “For every action there is an equal reaction” Newtons Third Law of Motion – Physics

Mike Reynolds
Mike Reynolds
3 months ago

Yes, and the conservatives and moderates who enjoy our coast and beaches as well.

William Hicks
William Hicks
3 months ago

Will the dredged sand from the harbor go to protect the liberal elites properties along our coast?