The Oxnard Harbor District’s Port of Hueneme has been selected to receive a $5.1 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration to help provide long-term infrastructure enhancements in and near the port via a dredging project, the Harbor District revealed in late September.
The project includes dredging an additional five feet—from 35 feet to 40 feet —to enable fresh produce container vessels to load heavier with each visit, according to the port. It also includes installing 600 feet of sheet pile wall, demolishing old and installing new fender and mooring systems, repairing dilapidated areas of the concrete deck, and installing a passive cathodic protection system.
The berth located on the port’s South Terminal is also able to plug oceangoing vessels into electric power so that they don’t run their engines while at berth. The port has said that by further improving such important infrastructure, the investment will help support further utilization of shoreside power.
“Since 2008, the port has reduced its emissions by 97% in large part to the success of the shore side power system which allows vessels to plug in to the electrical system and turn off their engines while working at port,” Port of Hueneme Chief Operations Officer Christina Birdsey remarked. “This project will allow further utilization and flexibility for capable vessels to use our shore power system once we complete the rest of wharf improvements and deepening on the South Terminal.”
Another benefit of the project, according to the port, will be clean sand taken from the berth’s dredge is to be placed by the beach to aid sand replenishment efforts.
“This grant award and berth improvement project demonstrate our steadfast commitment to jobs and the environment, once again showing our ability to collectively foster economic growth and environmental stewardship,” Oxnard Harbor District President Jason T. Hodge said.
Once completed, this project would modernize the wharf and pier structure to mitigate moderate seismic episodes and climactic resiliency, which would help with recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, create and retain jobs, and strengthen the regional economy, the Harbor District has said.
“We are excited to receive this economic development grant. It is both an environmental win and a community win, and we are grateful for the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Will Marshall, our economic development representative,” Port of Hueneme CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas said. “This award will be used to improve berthing that supports shore side power for zero emission dockage and also provides sand for beach nourishment at Port Hueneme Beach.”