June 28, 2021 — Port of Hueneme made history celebrating the completion of its deepening project, a project in the works for over almost two decades. The Port can now proclaim a harbor depth of 40 feet. Joining Port officials was Colonel Julie A. Balten, Commander and District Engineer of the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Many accolades were given to Congresswoman Julia Brownley for her steadfast commitment to secure approximately $20M in federal funds for dredging projects. Also in attendance were Port customers, contractors, the Navy and local, state and federal officials. The project promises to build upon the Port’s mission to create economic and social good by sustainably increasing Port capacity, creating 560 good paying jobs, and replenishing local beaches.
Oxnard Harbor District Board Vice President, Mary Anne Rooney, stated: “We appreciate Congresswoman Julia Brownley for being our champion to make this funding possible for the Port. Thank you to all of the political leadership and the community that continue to support the Oxnard Harbor District in our efforts to modernize Ventura County’s only commercial port.”
Representative Julia Brownley (D-CA 26th District) helped to secure funding for transportation projects at the Port which is a critical point of entry to our local and global economy.
“The Port of Hueneme is instrumental to the economic vitality of Ventura County,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “Over the years, we have seen the expansion and growth of the Port of Hueneme as it became a critical point of entry to the local and global economy. The completion of this deepening is the culmination of the port’s extensive efforts to carry out critical upgrades and improvements to its facilities and intermobility. I’m proud of the robust partnership between the federal government and the Port that have seen this project to its fruition. I look forward to continuing to work with the Port of Hueneme to build a strong economic future for the Port – and Ventura County as a whole.”
Photo above: 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)
The Port utilized a $12.3 million TIGER Grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) from the U.S. Department of Transportation to deepen the harbor as well as other projects including upgrading the Port’s facilities, pavement improvements, and the modernization of cargo handling facilities. The deepening project totaled $10.4M — $3.6M from the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and $6.8M combined from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Base Ventura County.
A project feasibility study began back in 1999 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversaw the process including engineering, permitting, and construction. Naval Base Ventura County was also instrumental in helping the project move forward. Among the many partners involved in this project are KPFF, Anchor QEA, Anser Advisory, Manson Construction, and Curtin Maritime.
“The Corps is excited about the completion of this important deepening project in collaboration with the Port of Hueneme/Oxnard Harbor District and the U.S. Navy,” said Col. Julie Balten, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District. “This project will enable the port to accommodate larger vessels, which support not only our nation’s economy, but also our national defense.”
The project yields significant environmental benefit. The Port’s berth areas increased from 35 to 40 feet in depth. This increased capacity will allow vessels to discharge more cargo in one call, making their visits to the Port more productive, and therefore more environmentally friendly. The efficient movement of cargo also reduced congestion. Not only that, approximately 390,000 cubic yards of sand have been reused for beach renourishment. Continuing modernization of the Port will provide long-term infrastructure enhancements that will further facilitate the efficient movement of cargo in the most environmentally responsible manner possible.
In addition to the environmental benefits the deepening will have positive socio-economic impacts such as the creation of 560 local jobs and $28 million in new business revenue. Local businesses will benefit as well as it is projected that $5.8 million will be generated through local purchases and $4.6 million in state and local taxes. These positive economic impacts will help create revenue for social and economic investments in South Oxnard and Port Hueneme.
“This is a historical day for the Port as we are finally realizing the completion of a vision by the Port, the Board and our many partners,” said Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director. “The ongoing modernization of our Port and harbor creates ladders of opportunity for our community, creating local jobs and access to a better quality of life through global trade.”
In attendance for the event were Oxnard Mayor John Zaragoza, Port Hueneme Mayor Steven Gama, Port Hueneme Councilmember Misty Perez, Port Hueneme Councilmember Bobby Martinez, Port Hueneme Chief of Police Andrew Salinas, Port Hueneme City Manager Brick Conners, and Nancy Lindholm, CEO of the West Ventura County Business Alliance. Also in attendance were representatives from the offices of Senator Feinstein, Julia Brownley, Assemblymember Jacki Irwin, and Supervisor Kelly Long; and representatives from valued project partners Naval Base Ventura County, US Army Corps of Engineers, Anser Advisory, Curtin Maritime, and KPFF.