Shoreline erosion has now reached Surfside Drive, the first road paralleling the ocean at Hueneme Beach. To help protect the street and inland property from flooding, officials at the City of Port Hueneme are proceeding with emergency shoreline protection by placing rock below the eroded scarp face of Surfside Drive.
It is hoped that the armor stone will protect Surfside Drive from damage until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can perform dredging of Channel Islands Harbor and renourish Hueneme Beach with sand as part of a mid-cycle dredge this fall/winter or until the regular dredge cycle in fall/winter 2014.
Since January, high winds, abnormally high tides and large waves along the Ventura County coastline have reduced the sand the Army Corps placed at the beach in December. The material is taken every two years from the Channel Islands Harbor sand trap and deposited immediately downcoast of the Port of Hueneme jetties where the natural littoral movement renourishes Hueneme Beach, Ormond Beach and the Point Mugu beaches. Due to Army Corps budget constraints, the recent sand bypass operation was inadequate to sustain the shoreline until the next scheduled transport in 2014.
Consequently, the beach is experiencing dangerous erosion that threatens streets, infrastructure and flooding to homes, businesses, the deepwater Port of Hueneme, and Naval Base Ventura County.
After several cycles of reduced dredging volumes, the Channel Islands Harbor sand trap contains over 3 million cubic yards of sand. Accordingly, City and Channel Islands Harbor officials have been actively working with federal, state, and local officials in support of emergency shoreline protection and a mid-cycle dredging and sand bypass operation for beach restoration.
“Dredging the sand trap will preserve and promote our beaches that are intricately linked to our economy. Until we can secure the necessary federal funding to dredge the sand trap, we’re taking every available step to stabilize the situation,” Port Hueneme Mayor Ellis Green said.
In February, the City sent letters to Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D- Oak Park), Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA-D), and Senator Barbara Boxer (CA-D) advocating for supplemental funding to dredge the sand trap and replenish Hueneme Beach. After sending the letters, Council Member Jonathan Sharkey traveled to Washington, D.C., where he emphasized the City’s support for this funding and to express the critical urgency of restoring sand to Hueneme Beach.
In addition to the D.C. meetings, Mayor Green and Council Members Sharkey, Douglas Breeze, and Sylvia Munoz Schnopp have met with Congresswoman Brownley’s staff together with State Senator Hanna Beth Jackson’s staff, State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell and his staff, and County Supervisor Kathy Long seeking funding assistance and exploring emergency shoreline protection alternatives. Any solution will involve the concerted efforts of the City, County, State, and the federal government.
“We are encouraged that our federal, state, and county representatives have come to see for themselves the very real threat to hundreds of homes and businesses and millions of dollars in infrastructure in our communities,” Mayor Green said, “and are very grateful for their responsiveness and continued efforts.”
Press Release, July 1, 2013