September 22, 2021 – Through a competitive process based on merit, eligibility, and the availability of funds, the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District was selected to receive a grant award totaling $5.1 million from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This Department of Commerce’s EDA investment will provide long-term infrastructure enhancements to maximize facility utilization through dredging in Ventura County — a designated Opportunity Zone.
“This grant award and berth improvement project demonstrate our steadfast commitment to jobs and the environment, once again showing our ability to collectively foster economic growth and environmental stewardship,” said Oxnard Harbor District President, Jason T. Hodge.
Congresswoman Julia Brownley at the Port deepening kickoff, February 2019.
The project includes dredging an additional five feet — from 35 ft. to 40 ft. to enable fresh produce container vessels to load heavier with each visit. It also includes installing 600 ft. of sheet pile wall, demolishing old and installing new fender and mooring systems, repairing dilapidated areas of the concrete deck, and installing a passive cathodic protection system. The berth located on the South Terminal at the Port is one that is also able to plug in oceangoing vessels into electric power, so they don’t run their engines while at berth. By further improving such important infrastructure part of the harbor, this investment will help support further utilization of shore side power at the Port of Hueneme.
“Since 2008, the Port has reduced its emissions by 97% in large part to the success of the shore side power system which allows vessels to plug in to the electrical system and turn off their engines while working at Port,” said Christina Birdsey, Chief Operations Officer at the Port of Hueneme. “This project will allow further utilization and flexibility for capable vessels to use our shore power system once we complete the rest of wharf improvements and deepening on the South Terminal.”
The project is fully permitted under California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act and is ready to start upon funding award.
Port of Hueneme harbor deepening in progress, January 2021.
“I’m pleased to note that this project will go through our Project Labor Agreement which ensures that local labor is used to accomplish the modernization of the Port,” said K.J. May, Engineering Manager at the Port of Hueneme.
Once completed, this project will modernize the wharf and pier structure to mitigate moderate seismic episodes and climactic resiliency, which will help with recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, create and retain jobs, and strengthen the regional economy.
“We are excited to receive this economic development grant. It is both an environmental win and a community win, and we are grateful for the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Will Marshall, our Economic Development Representative,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director. “This award will be used to improve berthing that supports shore side power for zero emission dockage and also provides sand for beach nourishment at Port Hueneme Beach.”
Community members using the beautiful City of Port Hueneme’s beach will also see the benefit of this project as the clean sand taken from this berth’s dredge will be taken and placed near shore by the beach to help with the sand replenishment efforts.
A ribbon cutting was held in June 2021 to celebrate the completion of the Port’s deepening project: Edgar Alvarez, Curtin Maritime; Armando Gonzalez, District Representative for Congresswoman Julia Brownley; Rebekah Antoine, Curtin Maritime; Robert McDonald, District Representative for Congresswoman Julia Brownley; Daniel Herrera, Naval Base Ventura County Port Operations; Ryan Magee, Naval Base Ventura County; Brian Miller, Chief of Staff, Office of Supervisor Kelly Long; Kristin Decas, Port of Hueneme CEO & Director; Paul Stamper, County of Ventura; Todd Graham, KPFF; Celina L. Zacarias, Commissioner, Oxnard Harbor District; COL Julie A. Balten, Commander and District Engineer, USACE, LA District; Yahaira Ponce, Field Representative for Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin; Mary Anne Rooney, Vice President, Oxnard Harbor District; Nancy Lindholm, CEO, West Ventura County Business Alliance; Misty Perez, Councilmember, City of Port Hueneme; Larry Smith, USACE, LA District; Steven Gama, Mayor, City of Port Hueneme; Bobby Martinez, Councilmember, City of Port Hueneme; David Van Dorpe, USACE, LA District; City of Port Hueneme; Susan M. Ming, PE Chief, Coastal Section, Programs and Project Management Division, USACE, LA District; Christina Birdsey, Chief Operations Officer, Port of Hueneme (in back)