Our coastal neighbor, Port Hueneme, has been in the news a lot this year due to beach erosion which is threatening streets and infrastructure built along the shoreline. Over the summer the city began reinforcing the seawall that protects the road, but didn't have money to complete the project. The California Coastal Conservancy recently approved $2M for additional construction. The aerial photo below shows the extension of the rocks along the beach toward the pier.
The aerial photos below from CaliforniaCoastline.org show the loss of sand from 2010 to 2013:
This dramatic erosion is the direct result of federal budget cuts which eliminated funding for the required biannual harbor dredging. Harbor jetties block the constant movement of sand down the coast, so regular dredging is required to keep the harbor mouth open and bypass sand. Hueneme beach is entirely dependent on sand that is dredged from Channel Islands harbor.
This aerial overview shows the sand that has collected in the trap created by the offshore breakwater at Channel Islands harbor. If this maintenance is not completed beaches "downstream" are starved of sand and rapidly disappear.
Ventura Harbor has been suffering the same problem. This photo was taken while the dredge was operating in February 2013.
These photos show how much sand has built up in the Ventura Harbor sand trap.
|aerial overview of Ventura Harbor shows sand buildup between north jetty and breakwater|
After nearly a year of meetings and conversations with the Army Corps of Engineers the Ventura Harbor received $2.5 million of the $5.9 million it needs to dredge. That money only paid for about 235,000 cubic yards in 2013, or less than half the 600,000 cubic yards sand required annually to keep sand moving down the coast.
The budget crisis prompted the Ventura Port District to consider an offer to sell sand to Broad Beach in Malibu, a beach that eroded in response to removal of natural sand dunes. But BEACON director Brian Brennan said "The erosion agency isn’t about to just hand over the Ventura Harbor sand, because it is vital to protecting properties on coastlines in Oxnard and Port Hueneme. Those beaches need to be replenished with sand annually." (see Ventura Harbor's excess sand may be treasure for Malibu residents)
According to a recent Port Commission newsletter, Ventura Harbor anticipates about $3.7 million in federal funding, enough to dredge up to 400,000 cubic yards in February or March. Because this is still partial funding it will result in accumulation of another 200,000 yards to the ongoing buildup in the sand trap and downcoast deficit.
This article in the VCStar sums it up:
More on this blog: http://www.venturariver.org/2008/12/harbor-dredging.html
In the News: