The accumulation of sediment at the bottom of Santa Barbara Harbor began as early as the last 1920s. The federal government began vital annual dredging projects of the harbor in 1972. Pacific Dredge & Construction was awarded a three-year contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the harbor two times a year. There is typically one dredging cycle in the spring and second in the fall.
The regular maintenance dredging keeps the channel at the desired depth and configurations for safe navigation within the popular harbor. About 720,000 cubic yards of dredged material is collected and transferred down the coast for beach replenishment services within the East Beach each three-year contract.
The pre-construction survey typically directs the dredge areas addressed in each cycle, but the areas located at the turning basin by the end of Jetty at Point Castillo are usually the most dredged areas. Each of the six cycles average 120,000 cubic yards of sediment.
Powerful ‘Sandpiper’ Dredge Used in Santa Barbara Harbor
Pacific Dredge & Construction will be using the impressive “Sandpiper” dredge in addition to a variety of industrial-quality supportive marine and land equipment. This electric cutter-head suction hydraulic dredge is used to provide safe marine navigation throughout the year while preventing both air and noise pollution in the area.
A dredge discharge pipe is installed and buried throughout the duration of the six dredging cycles. The pipe is buried to keep the area safe for people to enjoy the entire beach during all seasons, whether dredging is being performed at the time or not. The pipe will be installed at the start of the first cycle and removed after the final cycle is completed.
Sediment sample analyses are typically required in dredging projects throughout California as directed in the permits by local, state, and federal agencies. The dredging professionals at Pacific Dredge will also be monitoring marine life and water quality control in the harbor.
The dredging operations at Santa Barbara Harbor are performed under the direction of a 2016 Environmental Assessment document. The U.S. Corps of Engineers is compelled to use dredge engines that comply with Environmental Assessment air quality analysis.
Nearly a Century of Santa Barbara Harbor Dredging
Santa Barbara Harbor has been a working harbor and tourist destination for decades. Among the most picturesque marine locations in Southern California, the harbor is ideal for recreational boaters, fishermen, and tourists looking for the ultimate marine vacation experience.
In 1927, an 1,800-foot long breakwater was constructed by locals at their own expense. The breakwater protected Stearns Wharf and an adjacent mooring area for small boats and yachts from fierce southwesterly waves. The downside of installing the breakwater was that it interrupted the natural flow of waves causing sand to collect in the lee of the breakwater.
An extension of the breakwater in 1930 caused accumulated sand to advance along the face of the breakwater and deposit in the lee. The city of Santa Barbara extended the breakwater an additional 240 feet in 1985. Shoal areas at the entrance channel to the harbor continued to restrict navigation and put vessels in danger.
Contact Pacific Dredge & Construction Today
Pacific Dredge & Construction is an industry leader in hydraulic dredging services that span from Mexico to Alaska. The experienced dredge team benefits from parent company Pacific Maritime Group and Pacific Tugboat Service.
If you are looking for a professional, experienced and highly respected dredger, Pacific Dredge & Construction is team-oriented and always eager to work hard to get the job done. Contact a knowledgeable representative to learn more about our capabilities and how we can help with your next dredging project.