So, it’s that time once again. The hydraulic dredge “H.R Morris” operated by the Us Army Corps of Engineers, arrived in mid-October to begin maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance. It will conduct its operations 24 hours a day at various locations around the mouth of the harbor until it’s expected completion in February 2021.
The Army Corps typically dredges every two years and has since the harbor was built in the early 1960s. The harbor was designed to trap sand to prevent loss to the submarine canyon off Port Hueneme and to provide dredged material for beach replenishment for downcoast beaches. The replenishment provides vital shore protection for downcoast facilities, including the Naval installations at Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, the Port of Hueneme, the City of Port Hueneme and our own Silverstrand beach.
It is estimated approximately 2 million cubic yards of sand will be pumped from the harbor down to the beach at Port Hueneme, which erodes over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. The last time the harbor was dredged was December 2018 to February 2019.
While the operation looks pretty complex, navigating personal watercraft in and out of the harbor is generally pretty easy. Want to get a look? Head to the harbor entrance from either side (Silverstrand or Hollywood Beach) and it will be easy to spot.