Supporting Local Reel Guppy Outdoors Youth Program
February 18, 2022 — The partnership between the Port of Hueneme and the City of Port Hueneme goes into full gear supporting the local non-profit Reel Guppy Outdoors youth program. Reel Guppy Outdoors runs its youth programs off Port Hueneme Pier and is now able to expand to Channel Islands Fisherman’s Wharf as the result of funding from the Port-City Community Benefit Fund (CBF) and other local sponsors. Activities of the local non-profit include, fishing, whale watching and outdoor field trips providing an alternative for youth to get out on the water. Engaging in outdoor fishing can provide an individual with positive benefits such as breathing fresh air, engaging in active problem solving, socialization, and even achieving a sense of excitement when a fish tugs on the fishing line, making this an ideal fit for funding out of the CBF.
Council Member Steven Gama, City of Port Hueneme; Commissioner Celina L. Zacarias, Oxnard Harbor District; Mayor Richard Rollins, City of Port Hueneme; Kevin Brannon, Reel Guppy Outdoors; President Mary Anne Rooney, Oxnard Harbor District; Council Member Laura D. Hernandez, City of Port Hueneme
The CBF was established in 2015 by the City and Port to achieve the mutual goal of enriching the community through a spirit of collaboration. If the Port’s annual exceeds $13M, $100,000 is allocated to the CBF and the Port and City come together to vote on how to invest this funding in the community. This year as part of the initiative, the City and Port voted to contribute $5,000 to Reel Guppy Outdoors.
Yesterday the Port of Hueneme and the City of Port Hueneme presented a check donation to Reel Guppy Outdoors at the West Ventura County Business Alliance ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of their new Reel Guppy Dockside Learning Center located at 2741 S. Victoria Avenue, Suite D at Fisherman’s Wharf.
“The Port is committed to maintaining a legacy of trade and embracing community enrichment,” said Mary Anne Rooney, President of the Oxnard Harbor District that owns the Port of Hueneme. “Through the Community Benefit Fund, we are able to be collaborative and engage in partnerships for the public’s benefit such as supporting what the Reel Guppy Outdoors does by taking students on educational field trips to Lake Casitas, out to the Channel Islands, and other enrichment activities.”
Kevin Brannon, founder of Reel Guppy Outdoors, grew up in Port Hueneme and began his journey as a fisherman by working at Port Hueneme Sportfishing. His journey of taking people out on the water to explain what goes into being a fisherman and teaching people how to fish started 10 years ago.
“Kids in my neighborhood of Port Hueneme and south Oxnard needed something positive to do so I just used what I had at my disposal and started taking kids out fishing to the pier. Since then, we have taken over 3,600 participants out,” said Brannon. “We are now in the local elementary schools with the workbooks that we’ve created. We have a great relationship with fisheries, management organizations, and state organizations for educational portions of this program. Funds that we get, such as the Community Benefit Fund, help us pull off some of these cool series — whether it’s taking kids on boats, covering their fish cleaning bill, their lunches and staffing — it’s been a big help.”
Port Hueneme Mayor, Richard Rollins, said: “Reel Guppies is a great program for our community’s youth. The program provides an opportunity to have the kids learn about the environment, sustainability, fishing, and also provides great mentorship. Parents and volunteers get involved and make it a great experience for everyone. We are excited to have Reel Guppies a part of Port Hueneme and look forward to seeing them thrive.”
About the Port of Hueneme
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast and enjoys a strong and supportive partnership with the City of Port Hueneme. The Port is governed by five locally elected Port Commissioners. The Port moves $10.85 billion in goods each year and consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $1.7 billion in economic activity and creating 15,834 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $119 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit. www.portofh.org.
To learn more about the Community Benefit Fund visit https://www.portofhueneme.org/cbf.
About the City of Port Hueneme
The City of Port Hueneme (pronounced “Why-nee-mee”) is a unique community along Ventura County’s Gold Coast just south of the City of Oxnard and Channel Islands Harbor. Port Hueneme is unique because of its rich history, culture, and traditions, dating back to the Chumash Indians who made their home here for centuries and because of its long-established, close relationship with the Port, U.S. Navy’s Port Hueneme and Point Mugu naval facilities. For more information visit https://www.ci.port-hueneme.ca.us/532/City-Profile.