From the Working Desk of Bert E. Perello
Oxnard City Councilman
300 West Third Street, 4th Floor
Oxnard, CA 93030 (805) 240-6194

Councilman Perello Calls for Joint City-County Emergency Response Team Efforts to Work Hand-in-Hand to Address Unprecedented Threats to the Degradation of Water Quality in the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways (June 26, 2018)

Mayor Flynn and Fellow Members of the Oxnard City Council:

As you all may know, recently, an unprecedentedly large number of reports of odors and discoloration of water in the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways have exploded on the Next Door social media app over the past few weeks.
On June 18th, within twenty-four hours of receiving calls from harbor residents, the City of Oxnard Public Works Department deployed professional staff teams to collect water samples at five locations in the Channel Islands Harbor and Edison Canal area. Additionally, the City of Oxnard established a telephone hotline to report any odors or discoloration in the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways by calling (805) 797-7598.

Water samples were taken at the Channel Islands Harbor inlet, along South Harbor Boulevard; near West Channel Islands Boulevard Bridge; along West Hemlock Street; in the Edison Canal near the Edison Trash Collector; and near West Fifth Street Bridge. Today, the City’s Public Information Officer released information that total coliform, E-coli, and enterococcus bacteriological tests at the above location are showing data results that are not hazardous to human health. That is welcome news. However, the City still awaits test results for presence of nitrogen and phosphorus, nutrients that encourage the algae growth, and the water odor and discoloration problem still persists.

Both the City of Oxnard and the County of Ventura share many mutual responsibilities, interests and challenges in effectively providing public services to the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways. But it is absolutely vital that as elected officials, Members of the Oxnard City Council and the Board of Supervisors work effectively together to help preserve, protect, and defend the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents who live in and near the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways in urgent response to these unprecedented threats to water quality degradation and the peaceful enjoyment of these public waterways.
Accordingly, Mr. Mayor, today I ask the Oxnard City Council, to do everything we can to support and resource emergency response efforts by both our Interim and New City Managers to engage effectively with Ventura County CEO Mike Powers to tackle these problems by pooling the brainpower and public service resources of both city and county public works, environmental health, and public health department professionals to:
(1) Identify what caused the unprecedented degradation of water quality in the Channel Islands Harbor waterways;
(2) Triage the damage caused by such water quality degradation threats, and
(3) Quickly and effectively discharge our joint responsibilities to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Oxnard residents living in and around the Channel Islands Harbor Waterways, as well as honor the joint and respective responsibilities to each agency set forth under applicable provisions of numerous Channel Islands Harbor Memoranda of Understanding (MOU). Based on collaborative telephone discussions I had with Ventura County Fifth District Supervisor John Zaragoza last Friday, June 22nd, and a face-to-face discussion held during the Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall Exhibit Ceremony on Saturday, June 23rd, I believe and trust that Ventura County will respond to such requests positively.

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