2017 Ventura Harbor Dredging Update
The Ventura Harbor entrance channel and sand trap (the area behind the offshore breakwater) require annual maintenance dredging in order to assure that vessel traffic can safely access the harbor’s maritime support facilities. This effort is a responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to Public Law 90-483 approved by the U.S. Congress in August 1968. The Corps usually accomplishes the dredging in the first quarter of each calendar year provided the Congress has included funding for the effort in their current federal budget.
The need for the maintenance dredging results from the down coast movement of an average of about 600,000 cubic yards of sandy material each year which is deposited by littoral processes in the sand trap and entrance channel. If this material is not dredged and deposited on the down coast beaches the harbor entrance can become unsafe for vessel navigation. Securing the necessary Congressional funding for the dredging effort, given the continual budgetary difficulties confronting the Congress, is an ongoing challenge for the Port District. For this reason the District must devote considerable effort to regular coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers both with their District office in Los Angeles and with their Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The District is also blessed to receive strong support from Rep. Julia Brownley’s office as well as from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris in its quest each year for $5 to $7 million in dredging funds.