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Rep. Carbajal Surveys Santa Barbara Dredging Operations Receiving $3 Million from 2024 Funding Deal

Left to right: Harbor Operations Manager Nathan Alldredge, Santa Barbara Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire, Congressman Salud Carbajal, Army Corps Project Manager Angelica Anders, and Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse

Posted on April 29, 2024

Congressman Salud Carbajal and Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse joined Santa Barbara Harbor officials to survey the semiannual dredging at Santa Barbara Harbor and discuss how $3,040,000 secured in the 2024 federal funding deal will help ensure safe navigation for Santa Barbara’s maritime industry, recreational boaters, and maintain its public beaches.

The funding signed into law last month by President Joe Biden contained more than $26 million specifically for upkeep of Central Coast harbors and ports.

“Santa Barbara Harbor is a cornerstone of not only our slice of paradise but also the economy that sustains our community. Whether it’s families enjoying a weekend on the water or local fishermen bringing in their catches, maintaining navigable channels and a functioning waterfront is vital for our region,” said Rep. Carbajal. “I’m proud to have secured these critical funds for the Central Coast during this year’s budget negotiations, and I remain committed to working closely with Santa Barbara and Army Corps officials to address challenges posed by climate change and other threats, ensuring our harbors and ports thrive despite evolving conditions.”

“Congressman Carbajal has demonstrated repeated interest and action on behalf of the City of Santa Barbara. We recently toured the Santa Barbara harbor mouth, which requires constant dredging to stay open. Our harbor is home to a US Coast Guard cutter, a commercial fishing fleet which is a mainstay of our local economy, a NOAA research vessel, vessels who serve visitor access to the Santa Barbara Channel and its islands, as well as almost 2,000 recreational boat slips.” said Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse. “The impacts economically and culturally are severe at times when by unavoidable circumstances, the dredging operations are unable to be completed. Simply put, the harbor represents the pulse of Santa Barbara and is an essential element to our City’s well-being.”

Below: Santa Barbara Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire outlines the dredging operations recently completed in Santa Barbara Harbor to Congressman Carbajal on a recent tour.

“Santa Barbara is pleased to receive $3.04 million in funding for ongoing dredging of the harbor through the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water appropriations bill, supported by Congressman Carbajal. The harbor depends on annual dredging to maintain operations and continue providing residents and visitors with the benefits of a fully functional working waterfront,” said Santa Barbara Waterfront Director Mike Wiltshire. “We commend Congressman Carbajal for his work to ensure that Santa Barbara remains a priority for annual dredging appropriations and appreciate his continued support of the harbor.”

Santa Barbara Harbor undergoes two dredging cycles every year, one in the spring and another in the autumn and winter months. The spring dredging cycle was completed earlier this month.

The dredging can remove and relocate up to 120,000 cubic-yards of fine grain and sediment per cycle.

Santa Barbara Waterfront has employed all-electric dredging equipment, reducing pollution and avoiding the typical emissions associated with diesel-powered machinery.

Rep. Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th Congressional District, encompassing Santa Barbara County and portions of San Luis Obispo County and Ventura County. He is a member of the Agriculture and Armed Services Committees, as well as the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he serves as the top Democrat on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.



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