July 5, 2018

Channel Islands Harbor Water Quality Is Safe and Improving


Main City Contact:  Rosemarie Gaglione, Public Works Director, [email protected],


Alternate City Contact:  Sujin Beck, Project Manager, [email protected], 805-200-5293

Channel Islands Harbor Water Quality Is Safe and Improving

Oxnard, California.  Dissolved oxygen levels are improving daily according to the data collected by the City. There are twenty-six sampling locations that are being tested on a daily basis, and of the twenty-six test sites, four sites have low dissolved oxygen levels. These areas are concentrated in the Seabridge Public Marina, Westport, and northern section of Mandalay Bay.

The public can view the test results at https://arcg.is/08ifCO on a geographic information system (GIS) map. The map contains the location of all the sampling sites and the data collected at those sites. The map also has a legend under the “Test Parameter” button to indicate what a normal range should be for each of the parameters that are being tested. Staff is working quickly to upload as much information as possible. At this time, the dissolved oxygen content, salinity, water temperature, and pH is available. The bacteria information will be up by Thursday, July 5, 2018.

Along with the GIS map, the City is also releasing a Frequently Asked Questions document to address the most pressing questions being asked by the public.

The City Council will hold a Special City Council Meeting on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. to award an agreement to Aquatic Bioassay and Consulting Laboratory, Inc. in the amount of $72,650 for water quality sampling and analysis services.  A verbal update report on the city’s work to date will also be provided to the City Council.

Residents are encouraged to report any odor or discoloration in the Harbor waters by calling 805-797-7598 or emailing Sujin Beck at [email protected].

Follow us on social media at www.twitter.com/CityofOxnard (@CityofOxnard), www.facebook.com/CityofOxnard and www.vimeo.com/cityofoxnard.


City of Oxnard, CA

Channel Island Harbor Water Quality

Frequently Asked Questions

July 3, 2018

  1. Is it safe to go in the water?
    Yes, water testing was completed by the City of Oxnard and test results confirmed the water in the Channel Islands Harbor is not hazardous to human health.
  2. Why is the water brown?
    The water itself is clear. When you look into the water, what you are seeing is brown algae, giving the appearance of brown water. A Marine Biologist is being hired by the City to review the test results and conduct additional testing and analysis to determine the root cause.
  3. How are the oxygen levels? When will test results be released to the public? How often is testing being done?
    Please refer to the interactive maps which include daily logs by test location.  Daily monitoring Monday thru Friday is occurring and measurements are being taken near the top and the bottom of the water’s surface.
  4. Is there a pump in Seabridge that was installed as a backup plan if the power plant closed? Is it running and if not, why?
    The pumping vault infrastructure is set up to house an aeration system at two locations within the Seabridge CFD. There is no pump currently installed in the vaults.
  5. There has been a video circulating in which dead fish are shown. Where is this at? What is the City doing to rectify the situation?
    This video was taken at the Seabridge public marina. The City has formed a task force and is adding a Marine Biologist to the team to assist in testing and analysis. Additionally, aerators are being purchased to conduct a pilot study within the Seabridge public marina to determine if aeration will improve this oxygen deficient area. However, the City will continue to perform detailed water sampling.
  6. How often did the NRG pumps operate previously?
    The City has made a public records act request to obtain the facts as there is a great deal of conflicting information.
  7. Why can’t the City turn the pumps back on at the NRG plant until a resolution is reached?
    NRG ceased operations and discharges to surface waters on March 29, 2018. On June 5, 2018 NRG requested the Regional Water Board discontinue coverage under the NPDES permit program because the facility operations and discharges of wastewater to surface waters have ceased. There is a public hearing on September 13, 2018 with the Regional Water Board in Ventura to consider the tentative order which will terminate the requirements in the NPDES permit. For more information or to submit a comment letter, please click here.
  8. What is the County’s role?
    The County owns and operates the Channel Islands Harbor, which jurisdiction ends at the Harbor Blvd. bridges over the channels. Mandalay Bay, Seabridge, Westport, Harbour Island, the NRG plant and all land north of the bridges is within the jurisdiction of the City of Oxnard. In speaking with the County, they moved up their quarterly testing schedule. They tested in three locations: the west channel, the east channel and the main turning basin. All locations tested well below acceptable limits for bacteria and heavy metals. Dissolved oxygen levels were above the acceptable threshold, although a bit lower than usual in the west channel.