Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley announced funding for several Ventura County projects through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including for Channel Islands Harbor, Ventura Harbor, and the Port of Hueneme.
“In Congress, I have long fought side-by-side with local leaders for additional funds for Ventura County’s port and harbors, and I am pleased that our shared efforts have once again paid off,” stated Brownley. “The Port of Hueneme, Channel Islands Harbor, and Ventura Harbor are critical engines of our local economy, fueling job growth in the region, and keeping them open for business is essential to residents and businesses alike.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed maintenance dredging of Channel Islands Harbor and Ventura Harbor already this cycle, utilizing funds already budgeted in President Obama’s FY2017 budget request. However, Congress did not complete the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations Act until early May 2017. The additional funding that Congress provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, above the budget request, is allocated through the Corps’ annual work plan.
Channel Islands Harbor
Through the efforts of Brownley and local leaders, the FY2017 Corps’ work plan added $400,000 for Channel Islands Harbor, which the Corps will use for planning work on long-needed jetty repairs. This funding is on top of the $7,980,000 that was utilized for dredging this cycle, bringing the total for FY2017 to $8,380,000. For FY2018, the budget proposes $6,400,000 for Channel Islands Harbor.
“The County is so pleased that funds have been made available to do the design work to repair the jetty and breakwater,” said Lyn Krieger, Harbor Department Director. “We have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers for several years. They are faced with so many needs and still located money for this project.”
Through the efforts of Brownley and local leaders, the FY2017 Corps’ work plan also added $800,000 for Ventura Harbor. Since dredging this cycle has already been completed, the added funds will be rolled-over to FY2018, which will ensure the Corps’ can award a contract for the next scheduled dredge on time. The additional funding for Ventura Harbor brings the total to $5,100,000 for FY2017. For FY2018, the budget proposes $5,163,000 for Ventura Harbor.
“We are grateful to Congresswoman Brownley for her staunch advocacy for the Ventura Harbor,” said Oscar Peña, general manager of the Ventura Port District. “This funding will be critical to maintaining the harbor’s waterways open and continue to support the commercial and recreational boating interests, which are significant economic drivers in the region. We are also gratified with the administration’s request for FY2018 funding of $5.1 million for the Ventura Harbor.”
Port of Hueneme
Through the work of Brownley and port leaders, the Corps’ work plan also provided $778,000 for the Port of Hueneme. Of those funds $700,000 was awarded to complete an upcoming maintenance dredging project, which is scheduled to begin later this year. The maintenance dredge is scheduled to coincide with the planned harbor deepening project. The remaining $78,000 was awarded pursuant to Donor Port legislation that Brownley spearheaded last year.
“This funding stream from the US Army Corps promises to enrich our community by advancing projects that will create jobs and nourish our local beach ecosystem. We extend our gratitude to federal, state, and local leadership for securing the Port’s place in the US Army Corps work plan,” said President of the Board Jason Hodge.
“The timing for this announcement couldn’t be better as we just put our TIGER grant engineering bid on the street, a multi-million dollar project that will deepen the harbor alongside our wharves. The Corps’ component enables the Port to deepen and maintain the federal channel, thereby making the Port’s deepening from 35 feet to 40 feet complete from entrance to docking. In addition, the Port for the first time receives a donor equity allocation, a new legislative triumph for the Port. The leadership and tireless efforts of Congresswoman Julie Brownley brought this funding and the TIGER funding back to Ventura County’s Port, and we are truly grateful.”
Brownley succeeded in passing legislation in 2016 that allowed the Port of Hueneme to receive a share of Donor Port funds annually. Donor Ports are those that contribute far more to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund than they receive back. Brownley’s legislation ensured equity for the Port of Hueneme, along with the Port of San Diego and Port Everglades. Brownley’s Donor Port legislation was enacted as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-322).