July 6, 2023 — Governor Gavin Newson delivers a historic $80,000,000 to the Port of Hueneme for projects that generate social and economic equity while providing substantial revenue streams to help transform the Port to a zero-emission hub. California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) served as the lead agency for the allocation of $1.5 billion in Port & Freight Infrastructure Program (PFIP) funds approved in the Governor’s 2023-2024 budget on June 30, 2023. CalSTA Secretary Toks Omishakin announced the allocations of this funding to Southern California seaports at a press event hosted at the Port of Long Beach on July 6, 2023.

Photo above: (Left to Right) Kome Ajise, Executive Director of SCAG; Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director; Celina Zacarias, Vice President, Oxnard Harbor District; Jess Herrera; President, Oxnard Harbor District; Toks Omishakin, CalSTA Secretary; Mary Anne Rooney, Commissioner, Oxnard Harbor District; Assemblymember Steve Bennett, and Martin Erickson, Executive Director, Ventura County Transportation Commission.

The Secretary remarked, “It is a historic and momentous day for transportation in California, for ports in California, and, more importantly, for the people of California.  We worked with local partners, we worked with port leaders, we worked with federal officials to come up with a game plan. That game plan included short-term and long-term solutions.”

The Secretary then shared the exciting news that an unprecedented $79.8 million will be awarded to the Port of Hueneme for its strategic PACED (Port Action, Climate, and Environment Development) project.  The project’s multiple components contribute significant benefits to the Port and our surrounding communities while sustaining supply chain fluidity, flexibility, and resilience, while ensuring continued operational excellence, sustaining, and creating new employment opportunities, improving air and water quality, mitigating the impacts of climate change and promoting transportation equity and environmental progress.

“As a result of this extraordinary funding, we will be in a better position to create more job opportunities for local residents to support vital Port operations and the deployment of clean technologies.” said Jess Herrera, President of the Oxnard Harbor Commission.

More specifically, the project removes dilapidated obsolete buildings, installs zero emission plug in units for containers, and builds fuel cell technology infrastructure. Further, the project brings efficiency and safety improvements with deepening of berths that will also allow for renourishment of local beaches with clean dredged sediment. Of utmost importance, the funding supports shoreside power and emission control systems that make vessels zero emission while in port and also provides for port-wide crane electrification and the procurement of zero emission cargo handling equipment.

Components awarded also protect our ocean with the ability to procure an electric sweeper to prevent debris from going into the Port’s stormwater systems.  It helps develop new off-loading infrastructure to support the local squid fishery with partners from Ventura Harbor. Game changing for our local workforce and trades, the project brings millions in construction work under the Port’s project labor agreement and brings enhanced port led workforce development and training efforts.

“Our residents are going to get cleaner air, our workers are going to find better jobs, all of the organizations that have been fighting for better quality of life, the trades have been fighting for good, high-paying union jobs are winners with this,” Assemblymember Steve Bennett. “All of the stakeholders in Ventura County are extremely grateful to the wisdom of a governor who came up with the concept of this major investment.”

“This a first for the Port of Hueneme. This is milestone funding for us,” stated Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director at the June 6 press event.  “This significant funding afforded to us today, continues a tradition of community enrichment, that with the vision of Richard Bard, the founder of the Port in 1937.  This investment will deliver us the means to do good for all segments of the community by strengthening the supply chain and the efficient movement of goods to our citizens, creating good paying green jobs, and prospering a zero-emission economy.”

As a result of the PFIP funding, Ventura County will be infused with close to $95 million in major state investments for the Port’s PACED Project and the Ventura County Transportation Commission’s Rice Avenue & Fifth Street Grade Separation Project.

“This historic investment in our public seaports will help goods move faster across the global supply chain, propelling California’s economic engine forward by creating thousands of new jobs and keeping our state competitive in a challenging economic environment,” said Martha Miller, executive director of the California Association of Port Authorities. “I applaud Governor Newsom and Secretary Omishakin for their tireless efforts to help our state’s supply chain thrive.”