VENTURA, Calif. – Annual dredging commenced Feb. 14 in Ventura Harbor to deepen the federal navigation channel and sand traps to their authorized levels, with a scheduled completion timeframe of mid-March.
The Los Angeles District is working with contractor Manson Construction Co., which is using a hydraulic dredge to place beach-quality dredged material from the entrance channel onto the nearby South Beach to replenish the beach and alleviate sand erosion.
Maintenance dredging of federal channels is a responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the waterways remain safe and navigable. This project is expected to remove about 350,000 cubic yards of sediment.
Though parts of the beach adjacent to the project are available for recreation during dredging operations, large sections of the beach are off limits to ensure public safety. The LA District is also working with the contractor and Ventura Harbor to identify vessels that might inadvertently pass too closely to the dredging equipment.
“The professional boaters know to avoid the dredge, but sometimes – especially on the weekend – novice boaters may not be as aware of the safety regulations in the harbor about when it’s safe to proceed near the dredging ship,” said Mark Daniels, safety and occupational health specialist with the LA District.
This is particularly important because dredging, which requires the movement of support vessels to relocate anchors, place dredging pipes, and move people and supplies, is a 24-hour operation. The main vessel, the Dredge HR Morris, uses day shapes and nighttime lights to communicate to boaters when it’s safe to pass and when there is an obstruction. Learn more at https://venturaharbor.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/HARBOR-PATROL-Boater-Info-Dredging-1.pdf.
The harbor is one of 14 along the Southern California coast, from San Diego Harbor near the Mexican border to Morro Bay Harbor on California's central coast, that fall within the district’s area of responsibility.
The purpose of the LA District’s navigation mission is to provide safe, reliable, efficient, effective and environmentally sustainable channels, harbors and waterways for movement of commerce, national security needs and recreation. About 1,500 craft are moored in Ventura Harbor, including sport and commercial fishing vessels. The harbor is also home to a commercial fish-processing facility, an offshore oil-drilling support facility, two public boat-launching ramps and the Channel Islands National Park headquarters.