Minor dredging work is still continuing at the open Harbor.
Photo by Richard Lieberman
The Ventura Harbor waterways entry is open for normal boating traffic. The dredging at Ventura Harbor will remain in and around the harbor for the next month to continue efforts to remove hazards in the harbor entrance. Boaters should be aware and carefully navigate around the dredge and its equipment.
The modified Safety Zone will remain in effect to warn boaters of the hazards associated with the dredge and its pipes, but otherwise will allow boaters to maneuver through the entrance with caution. The dredge can be contacted on Marine Channels 16 & 67 for questions or passing instructions. Information on the Safety Zone can be located at www.venturaharbor.com under News.
Ventura Harbor businesses are fully operational in the Harbor including all boatyards, fuel docks, restaurants, shops, activities, hotels, excursions, and onsite events. Inner Harbor boating and paddle craft traffic is allowed.
On February 9, 2016, the District was advised by Congresswoman Julia Brownley that the 2016 FY U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan includes an additional $2.5 million for the dredging project currently underway. This brings the total dredging allocation for this year to $7.3 million.
Manson Construction, who was contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began mobilizing their equipment in the Ventura Harbor the week of January 25, 2016 and is currently dredging in the harbor entrance. Once Manson completes the dredging in the main channel, the Safety Zone initiated by the U.S. Coast Guard will be lifted.
Harbormaster John Higgins states three factors which have led to making the entrance very dangerous “unusually large waves and swells from the El Nino condition, shoaling and a strong current running along the inside of the breakwater.”
Dredging Manager Richard Parsons and Ventura Port District Commissioners Everard Ashworth and Greg Carson have met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for the dredging of the harbor, and helped secure the additional $2 million for dredging.
The depth of the entrance channel, normally about 40 feet, was as shallow as 14 feet and narrow to the point that two boats could not safely pass one another in the entrance, said Higgins. The district estimates there were 900,000 cubic yards of sand in the harbor sand trap and entrance.
The Harbor Patrol can also be reached at 642-8618. Business assistance opportunities might be available for those affected by the closure. Visit www.venturaharbor.com and click on the News article for the link.