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The original wharf was built to serve the new farmers on the Oxnard Plain and became the largest grain-shipping port south of San Francisco. The modern port continues this legacy as a dominant port for agribusiness fruit and other produceliquids, fresh seafood and vehicles. This includes providing support services for the offshore oil industry in the Santa Barbara Channel. The port has a direct highway connection to the nationwide freight network which raises the status of the port and gives it access to more federal funding resulting in a competitive advantage.
The Navy controls the ship movements. European immigrants began farming on the Oxnard Plain in the s but the area was isolated due to the difficult overland routes. Thomas R. Bard chose Point Hueneme  as the site of a wharf to take advantage of the naturally occurring depth of a submarine canyon.
Three- and four-masted wooden schooners brought lumber from the north and carried grain, lima beans and sheep to markets in San Francisco. Hoping to connect the new wharf with ore mines in Inyo CountyBard launched a campaign to build a road through the Santa Clara River Valley. The line continued due south to where the town of Oxnard was being established at the site of the American Beet Sugar Company factory being built by the Oxnard Brothers in the middle portion of the plain. Passenger and freight traffic declined as they shifted to the railroad.
The Harbor District was formed April 29, with an area of about acres ha. Bard's acre estate 25 ha was leased by the Navy during World War II and acquired by the government in Massive amounts of equipment and materiel were shipped from here to the war efforts in the Pacific. The District has regained control over acres 49 ha and an additional acres ha of private and public land serve support functions for the port. For example, 33 acres 13 ha were added to the port's existing 75 acres 30 ha in as obsolete military facilities were demolished.
In the port repaired the 3,foot seawall m on the south side of the entrance that protects the shoreline and marine terminals from coastal erosion. The project included construction of the Waterfront Promenade, also known as the Lighthouse Promenade.
The path is wide enough to accommodate emergency or service vehicles and is lighted. The path provides paved public access along the shore by replacing a dirt path and connecting with the pathways at Hueneme Beach.
The old seawall material was recycled by crushing the rock and using it as base material for the pathway. Inthe largest drug seizure at the port in decades was the result of a t investigation by officers from Homeland Security Investigations, U. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U. In January, cocaine was found under the floorboards of two ships. Inthe annual volume of cargo was 1. The ability to handle a diverse breadth of business is one way the port distinguishes itself from the much larger nearby ports such as Long Beach and Los Angeles which are deed with the infrastructure to service container ships.
The port imports and exports over ,short-ton of cargo annually to Guatemala ,metric-ton through the port of Puerto Quetzal. The cargo consists mainly of bananas and various fresh produce. Chiquita Brands International Inc. The new route allowed products to arrive in Ventura County sooner and provided a convenient point to import and export goods from Central and South America for local companies.
Forty percent of the Ecuador's banana exports go through Port Bolivar and ,short-ton of fruit ,metric-ton were imported through the Port of Hueneme in The ports want to be more competitive and more attractive by sharing knowledge, policies and best practices on training, facilities development, engineering and technical services, security, supply chain logistics and environmental protection.
The ports expect a mutual benefit for their customers through these cooperative arrangements in technology and policy. General cargo can include household goods and oversized cargo, such as cryogenic tanks for Vandenberg Air Force Base and a Tunnel boring machine that was delivered to Las Vegas have come though the port.
The port installed pumps to suck up squid from the holds of fishing vessels when the larger ports did not have the room and were not ready to provide this service. There is more than acres ha of lay-down space with portside access for 16 miles 26 km of rail for on- and off-loading military freight for the various branches of service. The deep water port at NBVC:Port Hueneme is one of the few military ports on the West Coast  and has been the site of a centuries-old naval tradition of ship commissioning. A ceremony at the harbor placed the following ships into active service. The five deep-water berths are equipped with shore-side power capacity for vessels to plug in.
Both the ships also have a hybrid scrubber system to remove remove particulate matter and sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides from the exhaust of the large marine engines that power the ships. Two tugboats accompany ships in and out of the harbor and guide them to and from their berths. The American-made Kalmar trucksfunded with grant from the Air Resources Board, and a new tug, that came to the port inwill further reduce emissions from port operations. Three auto processors are located less than 2 miles 3.
The new vehicles are inspect and accessories installed before they are delivered to dealers in the western United States. While importing automobiles has long been a staple of the port, exporting them internationally began in This resulted from foreign automakers starting to build factories on U.
The port would also benefit if the rail corridor from the Port of Hueneme through the Highway corridor to Santa Clarita was reestablished to carry Central Valley and Santa Clara River Valley citrus and other products to the port and on to foreign markets.
In Februarya Metrolink passenger train collided with a truck at this on-grade crossing. The Oxnard Harbor District is an independent special district formed in The harbor district is governed by a five-member commission elected at-large to staggered four year terms by the voters within the district boundary. The port is one of the five of the deep water ports governed by special districts in the state of California. The state's other six deep water ports are a function of the city in which the port is located.
At the time, this seemed like the best arrangement to provide a bond measure that would provide for construction of the port. Dissatisfaction with the boundary grew over the years and the Local Agency Formation Commission LAFCO recommended in and that the boundaries be changed to encompass the entire county. Inthe district and the City of Port Hueneme developed an agreement that provided a payment to the city of 3.
The agreement recognized that city ro need maintenance due to the port truck traffic and provided for improvements such as road widening. Some improvements were no longer needed and the port no longer used additional police services from the city. Bythe city and port officials were at odds over the need to renegotiate the agreement. The disagreement became particularly heated as the port resolved in to stop paying a percentage of gross revenues and to only pay for the actual costs of road repair.
They also accused the city of using the funds for other municipal purposes.
Much of the car storage is off-site in south Oxnard where several vehicle processing centers are located. Imported cars are frequently driven out of the port on public streets to these facilities. A volunteer group has special permission to feed feral cats that take care of rats at the port.
The group manages the cat population to keep it at about and feeds them three times a week at different locations around the port property. Once a month, volunteers trap cats that are new to the colony, take them to a spay and neuter clinic to be sterilizedgiven shots to prevent feline diseases, and get their right ears clipped so they can be identified.
The cats are then returned to where they were found and allowed to live out their lives. Many of these cats were dumped by owners. MV Conceptiona dive boat that caught fire and sank, was brought to the port from Santa Cruz Island overnight on September 13, to provide a secure location for the investigation. The boat was anchored near the island when the conflagration occurred at 3 a. Five of the crew members escaped while 33 passengers and 1 crew member who were asleep below decks died. During the COVID pandemicthe port partnered with various organizations such as World Central Kitchenlocal restaurants, and other groups to feed essential workers.
Since fresh produce flows through the port, they were able to direct food donations by their customers to field and packinghouse workers who may not be able to make it to a food bank that is only open while they are working. Maritime history of California. Commercial and military port in Ventura County, California.
Port in United States. Ventura County Star. Retrieved January 9, Ports and Terminals. February 22, Retrieved February 24, Smeaton Citizens Journal. Retrieved May 4, Streets ? National Park Service. Friends of the Bard Mansion website. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 18,Deep Oxnard text friend
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Port of Hueneme