The dramatic effect of the Ventura Harbor’s dredging efforts is seen in this photo. Photo by John Higgins, Harbormaster
The annual Ventura Harbor dredge efforts have significantly replenished the scenic harbor public beaches of both Surfers Knoll and Harbor Cove with cleaner sands and more recreation space for harbor beachgoers this summer.
Utilizing the federal funds available to dredge in 2019 with the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s office to ensure federal funding approval, the dredge removed 470,000 cubic yards of sand from the Harbor’s entrance and sand trap area to the landside. “On behalf of the Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners, I would like to thank and recognize Congresswoman Brownley for her continued commitment to the Ventura Harbor dredging program,” said Brian Pendleton, Deputy General Manager of Ventura Harbor.
Not only has this enhanced the harbor’s beaches off Spinnaker Drive but, for nature and bird lovers, the beach replenishment has led to the emergence of more nesting grounds, for endangered bird species such as the snowy plover.
“The contrast between the beach contour before and after the dredging is remarkable,” said Harbormaster John Higgins. “The wide, soft sandy beaches after the dredge are more naturally beautiful and inviting than ever.”
And upon these fresh sands Ventura Harbor offers a wealth of recreational options to kick off Memorial Day weekend.
Starting with safety, the Ventura Harbor will provide lifeguard services again this summer, from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, at Harbor Cove and Surfers Knoll beaches. The Ventura Port District Commission unanimously approved the just-over-$88,000 State Lifeguard contract, inclusive of a third lifeguard tower added this year. The Port District and Harbor Patrol place a high priority on public safety and always advise beachgoers to swim by guarded lifeguard towers.
In addition to swimming, surfing and sunbathing, beachgoers will have a variety of other summer recreational options available, as well. Among them: beach volleyball, on public sand courts at family-friendly Harbor Cove (commonly referred to by locals as “Mothers’ Beach”), provided by local coach Jack Richards of Rincon Volleyball Club; sea-glass searching; kite-flying; popular YOGAqua classes, on stand-up paddleboards in the calm waters of Harbor Cove Beach; and, new this summer, Paddle Into Fitness lessons, also at Harbor Cove.
For YOGAqua reservations, visit yogaqua.com. For Paddle Into Fitness reservations, visit paddleintofitness.com.
The Ventura Harbor and its beaches have become among the most popular summer destinations in the city. Beach restrooms and open-air showers are available, as well as free parking in the dedicated beach parking lots and along Spinnaker Drive. As an added service, a beach ADA wheelchair is available on a first-come, first-served basis; for availability, call ahead to Harbor Patrol at 805-642-8538.
The Ventura Harbor beaches are just steps from the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center offering free entry daily, and the popular Ventura Harbor Village, with its many food, entertainment, and retail amenities.
For more information on Ventura Harbor beaches or lifeguard services, visit venturaharbor.com.