The CIWHA Communications Team has been busy pulling together resources!

The resources on this page will be updated as information becomes may leave comments on this page if you have additional resources you think would useful, or that you would like to see  here! Your comments will be reviewed and not made public – please include you phone number in case we need to contact you.

Boat related urgent matters in the harbor, 24/7

For any boat related urgent matters in the harbor, 24/7, please use the Police Department Dispatch line 1-805-385- 7740 or Fire 1-805-385-7722 (both of those numbers are on the City’s website in the “Departments” section).
During business hours please call Code Compliance, 1-805-385-7940 x9. Please note that the Code Compliance line is not monitored after hours.

Also See:

Homeless Activity

We are in proximity to the Casa Serena encampment, the dunes and Edison Canal encampment and the Power Plant encampment.
Theft crime and break ins have increased. We are also concerned about fire and water pollution.

We were referred to:
Jessica Petrillo – Homeless Assistance 805-385-8044 office
805-889-2493 cell

We also spoke with Officer Kohr, who requested we contact him or Oxnard PD
If we see any suspicious activity contact
In the event of an emergency call 911



Pools and Spas

In a recent seawall inspection with the City Engineer, we mentioned the existence of a permitted in-ground pool in the neighborhood. We asked if the permitting of in-ground pools or spas contained any enhance engineering requirements to mitigate any infringement on the integrity of seawalls.

We were referred to Vytautas “Vyto” Adomaitis Director

Community Development Department

214 S C Street | Oxnard, CA 93030 O: tel:1-805-385-7882 | F: 805-385-7417

His response:
Building & Engineering verifies that pools adjoining waterways in the Channel Islands Harbor area are not imposing additional loading on, or otherwise affecting the integrity of the seawalls. We also verify that the presence of the constructed pool will not infringe on any maintenance easements owned by the City. There are different designs for the seawalls among the different housing tracts in this area that affect the ability of a pool to be permitted.

In the older tracts (Mandalay), pools may not be possible due to the location of seawall maintenance easements, while in Seabridge or Westport there are locations where a pool could be allowed.

For any additional questions regarding in ground pools and associated engineering requirements, please contact Asst. Director/Building Official, Jeff Pengilley, at 805-385- 8208.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)

We requested confirmation on the City’s position on ADUs as there appears to be some disparity between State and Coastal Commission positions.
We were referred to Vytautas “Vyto” Adomaitis Director

Community Development Department

214 S C Street | Oxnard, CA 93030 O: 805-385-7882 | F: 805-385-7417

His response:
Within the City of Oxnard, Accessory Dwelling Units are not currently allowed in the Coastal Zone.
In addition, we met with Coastal Commission staff in August 2020, and we discussed the recent changes in state law which generally allows ADUs in residential zones except within the Coastal Zone. The CCC staff encouraged us, and other coastal cities, to allow ADUs within the Coastal Zone. CCC staff suggested that we look at Santa Cruz’s ADU Coastal regulations which provide ADU restrictions / reasons for denial based on lack of parking. As part of the Housing Element, City staff did not propose and City Council did not provide direction to amend our LCP to allow ADUs in the Coastal Zone. For any additional questions regarding ADUs, please contact Planning Manager, Scott Kolwitz, at 805-385-3919.

February 25, 2023 Annual Meeting

2023 Annual Meeting

The 2023 annual meeting of the Channel Islands Waterfront Homeowners was held on Saturday Feb 25, 2023. 9am-Noon

There were two parts to the meeting – public and members only.
The Public meeting recording is below and available on YOUTUBE

There were technical issues with the ability for members to connect to the online meeting, however the meeting was recorded and we will make that available to Property Owners when processed!
We had a nice crowd of PROPERTY OWNERS who braved the weather and the early hour!!
We aslo thank PCYC for the wonderful meeting space!

The public portion of the meeting:


We will add information to this page as followup to questions and concerns.

For now check out the April Updates!

CIWHA Welcome Message: Bill Clark President
Special Guest Speakers*  ( 5 – 7 minutes speaking followed by a couple of questions )

9:10 Michael Tripp: Channel Islands Harbor Director
9:20 Alex Nguyen: Oxnard City Manager
9:30 Vianey Lopez: District 5
Ventura County Supervisor
9:40 Bert Perello: Councilman Oxnard District 1
9:50 Chuck Carter: CIWHA Board Member & CINC Clean Water Team  [Channel_Islands_Harbor_Water_Quality_Slides _February_2023]

10:00 General Q/A
10:25 Bill Clark: Thanks to guests


10:30 Bill Clark:Presidents Welcome: Bill Clark
10:35  Alex Nguyen: Oxnard City Manager
10:45 Seawall Strategy Update:
Michael Wolfe: Oxnard Public Works Director
THANK YOU Alex Nguyen & Michael Wolfe!

Closed Session Property Owner Business & Elections:
* Committee Updates
* Approval of minutes (APPROVED)
* Approval of Financials (APPROVED)
* Board elections for 2023 (APPROVED)

Property Owners in Mandalay

We regret the unexpected last minute technical difficulties that arose today with respect to joining the meeting!
The recording of the closed session will be made available as soon as possible!


Thanks to all the homeowners who braved the weather and the early hour!!
Special thanks to Connie, Arlene, Candice, Judy and Pat for managing the sign-in table!
And we all got to go home to snow like hail!

Map of Mandalay Waterways 1 for Property Owners

Seawall Background information:
There is a video of the October 2020 City Council meeting that contains 2 presentations that are part of the background on our Seawalls:
1)  Public works presentation
2)  Our HOA presentation of timeline information

See the City Council meeting videos on this page:

July 2022 –  CIWHA update

July 2022 – CIWHA update

What Does The Channel Islands Waterfront Homeowners Association Actually Do?

The question was asked by a homeowner following our recent plea for everyone to pay their dues.
Volunteers from CIWHA Communications Team felt this was an important question!

Seawall Repairs

When repairs are approved and being scheduled the Seawall Team assists in communications between the City,  the contractors, and the homeowners.  It is not the responsibility of the City or the contractors to facilitate boat relocations  when repairs require your  dock be vacated. The HOA volunteers make phone calls to put homeowners in touch with other homeowners to facilitate the process of finding places to relocate boats temporarily.


The CIWHA Landscape representatives meet with Public Works, Special Districts and the contractors on a regular basis to walk areas of Mandalay and review priorities, progress and projects.  As our current Assessment funds  need to be spent on Landscape (contractors, electric and water) plus seawall repairs and maintenance, this work is important to balance budgets while maintaining our landscaping to the best our budget can maintain.

Harbor Water Quality

The HOA volunteers on the Neighborhood Council Marine Advisory Committee (MAC) are the people that championed testing when the algae bloom became apparent following the closure of the once through cooling plant at Mandalay.  This dedicated team of volunteers spend countless hours being trained and taking samples that are acceptable by the water board. This activity and dedication has saved the City hundreds of thousands of dollars and is required to push through the slow grinding requirements of the State towards future mitigation and funding for the future.
This team meets with City, County, State agencies, new owners of MGS power plant, Edison Canal, Farm Bureau, and other stakeholders. The HOA sends e-blasts when your letters and comments to those agencies are requested.


Dredging is an important infrequent but very expensive project that our assessment  funds must cover. The other developments North of the bridge account for this expense within other ongoing fees that go into reserves. With our very low assessment funds being spread over seawall repairs, landscaping and water quality we do not currently have a reserve fund for dredging.

Seawall Funding - Other Expenses

CIWHA representatives meet with the City to establish sane and reasonable shared funding to continue the Repair/Replace project of our Seawalls. This effort takes into consideration needs of our community, but also for the economic needs for projects not a part of that funding like Landscaping, Dredging and Water Quality.

City & County Meetings

CIWHA representatives attempt to follow the agendas for City Council and County Board of Supervisors for issues that may have a direct impact on our residents. From redistricting to finance to local elections and developments in the Harbor, we make an effort to be informed and to reach out when decisions that may impact you need your voice!


CIWHA representatives respond to calls and emails from homeowners.
We try to provide answers, direction and resources as needed to keep life wonderful in our harbor.


Monthly Board Meetings

The CIWHA board of directors meets monthly –  except in August. The agendas cover reports on all activities covered on this page. Residents and homeowners are welcome to attend!
The monthly meetings are generally held the 3rd Wednesday of the month – however it is best to contact a member of the board in advance of a meeting due to COVID and schedule changes to confirm location and date!


Why should I pay dues – what is it spent on?

The question was asked by a homeowner following our recent plea for everyone to pay their dues.
Volunteers from CIWHA felt this was also an important question!


Your dues fund the annual meeting when held in person, as well as the printing and mailing expenses, all of which have increased in cost tremendously. Currently much of the communication tools – like the website hosting, maintenance and management are donated by volunteers.

Consulting and Legal Fees

CIWHA maintains a fund for the potential need of Legal or other consulting fees to preserve the quality of life for our homeowners. There is no current litigation, however to ignore the potential would not be prudent.


Your $50 a year dues are managed by the elected all volunteer Board. The Treasurer maintains the books. We pay an external bookkeeper for reporting and a CPA for taxes. There is a $75 transfer fee required upon sale of a property. The Board are all volunteers and the Association owns no property. We are required to carry error and commissions insurance on the board.All financial reports are presented monthly at board meetings and are available upon request.
Year end statements are published in the newsletter and presented at annual meetings.

About the CIWHA difference.

We realize this is an unusual and uncommon HOA. By comparison other HOAs in the Harbor have HOA dues, CFD and Mello-roos and ongoing dock fees resulting in much higher expenses. Those developments manage common property – we do not. Our homeowners own their docks – those homeowners do not. Until we know the numbers for bonding the seawall work we are not looking to raise dues or make any changes to our fees.


Tsunami Prep Week March 21-25 2022

Tsunami Prep Week March 21-25 2022

This information is from:

In general, in Oxnard, if you are within a mile of the ocean, you may be in a potential tsunami inundation area.

A tsunami is a series of traveling ocean waves triggered by anything that displaces a large volume of water.

Existing on-and offshore geologic conditions indicate that Ventura County is a very seismically active region capable of producing tsunamis. Since 1812, there have been at least eight notable tsunamis along the Ventura County coastline, several of which caused damage – including the tsunami generated by the 2010 Chilean earthquake, which caused over $250,000 in damage to the Ventura Harbor.

A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of waves which can occur over many hours. The 2011 Japan tsunami generated a series of tidal fluctuations on the California Coast which lasted more than 72 hours. It is important to keep yourself and others away from the danger zone until an “All CLEAR” is issued.



Know the difference between Myths and Facts:

Myth: Many people believe that a tsunami is one giant wave.

Fact: Tsunamis can be a single surge of water or a series of waves occurring anywhere from five to 90 minutes apart, and may occur for many hours after the initial event.

Myth: Many people believe that the Channel Islands will serve as a giant “breakwater” and that the Oxnard coast cannot be impacted by a tsunami event.

Fact: From the area where the tsunami originates, waves travel outward in all directions.Once the wave approaches the shore, it builds in height. The topography of the coastline and the ocean floor will influence the size of the wave. A small tsunami at one beach can be a giant wave a few miles away. Since we have no idea where a tsunami may originate, we cannot presume to be safe from a tsunami simply because we have offshore islands.

Myth: Many people believe that tsunami waves are surfable.

Fact: Tsunami waves are extremely dangerous, could be full of debris and are potentially deadly to surf.


WARNING Inundating wave possible Full evacuation suggested

ADVISORY Strong currents likely Stay away from the shore

WATCH Danger level not yet known Stay alert for more information

INFORMATION Minor waves at most No action suggested

Part of your preparation with family and friends should be to know and share reunification areas!

No Street Parking on Street Sweeping Days

No Street Parking on Street Sweeping Days

There are different days for different addresses – find yours!


The City of Oxnard will begin ticketing on Street Sweeping days.

We have the great fortune of living on the water. As you all know from recent years algal blooms, vegetation and debris in the water is a source of unwanted pollution.
There are no street sweeping “No Parking” signs in our development,we have confirmed that citations will not be issued until signs are up!
Our streets have 2 different schedules – please click the button below to find your address on the interactive map!

Find your schedule

If no signs are visible there will be no citations. Signs will be posted soon so please find your schedule and begin to adapt!

Parking Tickets shall be issued

Storm Drains are no place for waste,
While this may create some issues it really is a good thing to have the debris from our streets removed before it washes into the storm drains!


Storm Drains are no place for waste

Water Quality – Clean Water Team request for support 3/13/22

The Clean Water Team is a dedicated group of Homeowner Volunteers from neighborhoods in Channel Islands Harbor that have been active in monitoring and seeking sources of the problem as well as solution and funding.
There is an agenda Item on Tuesday March 15, 2022 that comments in support of would be most appreciated!

Please send an email NOW for City Council meeting 3/15/22


Submit an email to
Subject line: 3/15/22  L. 8. Channel Islands Water Quality and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Report.

Agenda Item detail:
Channel Islands Water Quality and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Report.
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive and file a report on water quality monitoring efforts in the Channel Islands Harbor.
Comments suggestion:
I support support the CINC Clean Water Team and request for continued water quality sampling laboratory costs, paid for by the City, County, State Water Board, and other responsible parties.
The issues in Mandalay Channel Islands Harbor as a whole and the contaminants eventually impact Kiddie Beach and then flow right out to the ocean. Following the closure of the Power plant the trek to the ocean is simply a longer one.
The residents of the various Channel Islands Harbor homeowner associations are the closest observers of this problem however they should NOT be the only parties responsible for testing and remediation of the degraded water quality in the harbor.
NOTE: Add your name and address at the end of your email!


In 2018 and algal bloom occurred in Channel Islands Harbor that may have been related to the shut down of the power plant’s cooling pumps that were decommissioned on March of 2018 as part of a mandate from the California State Water Resources Control Board. At that time the City of Oxnard began nutrient sampling in the harbor and a group of volunteers came together (The Clean Water Team) comprised of volunteers who have been trained and have been using their own boats and many hours to collect samples required to continue monitoring, seeking sources of the problem as well as solutions and funding.
The State Water Board funded the laboratory processing costs in 2021 and that testing revealed several exceedences in areas of the Edison Canal and Mandalay Bay. As a result of those findings the Clean Water Team is requesting an extension of that funding. The volunteers from the Clean Water Team will continue to use their boats and labor hours to collect the samples, following the QAPP (Quality Assurance Project Plan) procedures, at no charge to the City.
It is the Water Board’s responsibility to require the dischargers (City, County MS4, VCAILG-Farm Bureau, Marina Lessees, and Dept of Transportation) to contribute to the cost of continued water quality sampling.
Any comments you make will support our request for continued water quality sampling laboratory costs, paid for by the City, County, State Water Board, and other responsible parties.
The issues in this Harbor impact Channel Islands Harbor as a whole and the contaminants eventually impact Kiddie Beach and then flow right out to the ocean. Following the closure of the Power plant the trek to the ocean is simply a longer one.
The residents of the various Channel Islands Harbor homeowner associations are the closest observers of this problem however they should NOT be the only parties responsible for testing and remediation of the degraded water quality in the harbor.

Ways to comment


Submit an email to no later than 3 p.m. on the day of the meeting (Please indicate the agenda item number in the subject line). All email correspondence will be forwarded to the City Council​/Committee​ prior to the start of the meeting and made part of the legislative record.


Public Comments – Sign Up to Speak PRIOR to the Meeting

Click on the Meeting link highlighted below for the form to pre-register to speak at that meeting. Alternatively, contact the office of the city clerk by phone (805-385-7803) or email ( Pre-registration closes at 3:00 PM the day of the meeting.

  1. March 15, 2022 CITY COUNCIL MEETING/Speaker Form Link
  2. Speakers shall have up to three minutes to speak. Public comments on items not on the agenda shall be taken at the beginning of the meeting. If there are more speakers than can be accommodated during thirty minutes, additional speakers will be given an opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting.

    CALL IN DURING MEETING: Public Comments Taken DURING the Meeting without early sign-up

    Regular Meeting – 6:00 PM
    Zoom details to call-in for public comment during a meeting:
    1. Dial Phone Number: (888) 475-4499
    2. Enter Meeting ID: 897 1377 1475
    3. Passcode: 424190
    If you wish to speak during public comments or a particular item on the agenda, please sign-on by
    following the zoom calling in steps listed above. Once the Mayor calls for public speakers, press *9 to raise your hand to inform the City Clerk you would like to speak during the public speaking section for that particular item on the agenda, while in the zoom waiting room.

    To provide public comment during the meeting without prior sign-up (see above):

    1. For all other Public Comments: dial (888) 475-4499 and enter the Meeting ID and Passcode found on the Meeting Agenda. You will be placed in the Zoom waiting room.
    2. While in the Zoom waiting room, once the Mayor calls for public speakers for the agenda item on which you wish to speak, press *9 to raise your hand to inform the clerk you would like to speak during that agenda item. The clerk will unmute you when it is your time to speak. Press *6 to unmute your phone.

    Public comments on agenda items shall be taken following the announcement of the item. After the item is announced, members of the public shall have three minutes to register or otherwise be recognized for the purpose of providing public comment. During this three-minute time period, public comments may be taken and the City Council or staff may discuss the item being considered or briefly respond to public comments.

    In both cases, Speakers shall have up to three minutes to speak. Public comments on items not on the agenda shall be taken at the beginning of the meeting. If there are more speakers than can be accommodated during thirty minutes, additional speakers will be given an opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting.

See all Oxnard Meetings Agendas and recordings

Watch Meetings on YouTube: City of Oxnard YouTube channel – watch live or subscribe.




8. Public Works Department
SUBJECT: Channel Islands Water Quality and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Report.
RECOMMENDATION: That the City Council receive and file a report on water quality
monitoring efforts in the Channel Islands Harbor.
(Public Works and Transportation Committee approved 3-0)
Legislative Body: City Council
Contact: Michael Wolfe, (805) 385-8055

ITEM 8: 8. Channel Islands Water Quality and Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) Report.
(Click here for PDF)

Safety and Security updated Sept. 7 2023

Safety and Security updated Sept. 7 2023

The recent crimes and concerns in our area are not going unheard, however resources are limited.

We can do more if we all come together!

  • May we suggest you introduce yourselves to your neighbors next door, across the street and across the channel.
  • Share contact information and pledge to look out for each other.
  • If you should see a garage door open at unexpected times, or see any suspicious activity please notify your neighbors.
  • Make arrangements to pick up each other’s packages when you’re away

Contact Oxnard Police Department

If you should see any suspicious activity or fall victim to any crime, please report  the incident to the  Oxnard Police Department. If you were able to secure security video footage, please also share the footage with the Oxnard Police Dept.  

  • For emergencies please contact 911
  • For non-emergencies you may contact the Oxnard PD @ 805-385-7740

Just a Reminder

  • Please keep doors and windows locked
  • Please keep cars locked
  • Please don’t leave valuables in your car
  • Please don’t leave garage doors open


If You See Something, Say Something !

Oxnard Police Department has a Website with
Resources for Your Safety

Beat Map updated 9-6-2023

Oxnard Police Department

251 South ‘C’ Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 385-7600

9-1-1 or  1-805-486-1663


We are in Beat 21 West District
[Click for Community Crime Map]

Sr. Ofc.  Justin Songer, Beat 21 and Beat 24 <>
Cpl.Kaya Bysan <>
Tel: 1-805-842-1559


Oxnard PD

Community Crime Map can be found at

Click for instructions on using Community Crime Map [PDF]

LexisNexis® Community Crime Map connects law enforcement with the community to reduce crime and improve public safety. Crime mapping helps the public get a better idea of the crime activity in their area so they can make more informed decisions about how to stay safe. Community Crime Map goes beyond crime mapping by automatically alerting the public about recent crime activity and by improving communication between the public and law enforcement through anonymous tips. 

The markers representing incident locations on the map indicate approximate locations, typically rounded to the nearest block. The data displayed on this map is based on preliminary information, and is subject to change at any time. This data is intended as general crime information, and is produced for the purpose of public awareness. No warranty or guarantee is made or implied regarding the content, geographic accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the data.

Click for instructions on using Community Crime Map [PDF]


Register your surveillance system with the Oxnard Police Department. Oxnard Police Department personnel will contact you to process the registration. [Click Here to Register]

OxnardPD website


Viewing the Call log and arrest log links above is interesting.

Animal Safety – Please be a responsible pet owner!

Animal Safety – Please be a responsible pet owner!



Owning a dog is a big responsibility. It is like caring for another child! This responsibility extends past the proper care and training for your dog but also to your dog’s behavior.

Oxnard City Code Section 5-42 requires dog to be on a leash. All dogs must be under the control of the guardian at all times. This means when the dog is not on your property, it must be under your direct control. The best way to control your dog is with a leash. This law aims to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

In the City of Oxnard, dogs may not run at large in places open to and used by the public such as the public beach, street, sidewalk, alley, or park without the owner or another responsible person capable of controlling the animal on a leash. When animals are not on a leash, they must be restrained either behind a fence or in some other enclosure that will prevent their escape.

A leash can save your dog’s life and can keep your dog out of fights, out of garbage cans, out of traffic, and out of dangerous places. But most of all, it can keep your dog close to you so he won’t get lost.

No person shall permit any dog owned, harbored or controlled by that person to be on any public beach, street, sidewalk, alley, park or place of whatever nature open to and used by the public unless the dog is securely leashed, and the leash is continuously controlled by a responsible person capable of controlling such dog or unless such dog is securely confined in a motor vehicle.

Section 5-42 does not apply to dogs:
(A) Actively engaged in dog shows or field trials;
(B) Actively engaged in hunting game upon public property which is open for such hunting;
(C) Maintained, trained and used exclusively for the working, herding or guarding of other animals, while such dog is actively engaged in such working, herding or guarding;
(D) Located in an area of any public beach designated and posted by the city manager or designee as a leash-free area of the city; and
(E) Trained and authorized as police service dogs.

Please be a responsible pet owner and abide by the law. Violations are a minimum penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00).


For further information:
City of Oxnard – Animal Safety
214 South C Street, Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 385-7640

Pick Up After Your Pets

Everything on the grass and the sidewalk washes right into the harbor and the ocean!


Keep Our City Clean – Don’t Litter.
Please Pick Up After Your Pets

When walking your dog, always carry a supply of plastic bags and clean up after your dog. Dispose the waste in a sanitary manner by disposing in a trash receptacle or sanitary disposal unit.

Dog droppings are a nuisance and a health hazard attracting flies and spreading disease. Oxnard City Code requires that dog-owners pickup after their pets, both at home and in public places.

Oxnard City Code Sec 5-45:
(A) No person shall, knowingly or by failure to exercise due care, permit any dog owned, harbored or controlled by that person to defecate on any public property or on any private property without the consent of the person owning or occupying the private property.
(B) If the person owning, harboring or controlling the subject dog immediately and properly removes such defecation material from such public or private property, the person shall not be in violation of this section.
(C) Any person having the control or custody of a dog on public or private property shall at all times have in his/her possession a wrapper, bag, container or other receptacle suitable for pickup and removal of any defecation material deposited by such dog.

For a first conviction, the minimum penalty shall be a $100 fine; for a second conviction within one year of the first conviction, the minimum penalty shall be a $200 fine; for a third or subsequent conviction within one year of the first conviction, the minimum penalty shall be a $500 fine.


For further information:
City of Oxnard – Animal Safety
214 South C Street, Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 385-7640

Please be a responsible pet owner!


Living on the water is fun but accidents do happen.Adding a dock ladder for people and pets could save the day. Quality ladders typically range in price from $100 to $200, with specialty items running a bit higher. A simple google search can provide you a number of options to find the ladder that’s just right for you.

Be prepared. In the event of an emergency, use things you may already have, such as kayaks or paddle boards. Have a throw ring available for a quick response.Consider having life vests for children and pets playing on your docks.

January 2022, Tsunami Debriefing and After Action

January 2022, Tsunami Debriefing and After Action

Recent Tsunami caused by Volcano has resulted in an examination of the Alert system from the state level down.

There was a lot of confusion regarding lack of information and concern on January 14th, 2022, when tidal surges rolled through local harbors.

The “alert” messages posted pretty much said we were not anticipating any real noticeable impact.

There was a lot of back and forth on social media while watching docks rise and fall in Mandalay Bay as information began to trickle in about real damage in Ventura Harbor.

Our City Councilman, Bert Perello sent us an update today regarding the work going on behind the scenes to learn from that event and make changes for the future!



Date: Thu, Jan 27, 2022 at 11:37 AM
Subject: Fwd: Tsunami Debriefing and After Action

Honorable Mayor, Council Members & City Staff,

I wanted to share this email from Emergency Manager Scott Brewer regarding the recent tsunami. There were a number of positives that came out of this experience but as you can see, we have lessons learned that we are now implementing from the state level down to us here at the local level.
Please reach out if you have any questions,


Alex Hamilton, MBA

Fire Chief
(O) 805-385-7700
(C) 805-513-3012

From: Brewer, Scott <>
Date: Wed, Jan 26, 2022 at 4:04 PM
Subject: Tsunami Debriefing and After Action
To: Alexander Hamilton <>
Cc: John Colamarino <>, Karsten Guthrie <>


Chief Hamilton

This email is a follow-up to our response to the January 9th Tsunami “Alert” response. While I believe our response to this incident was both timely and appropriate, I did have some concerns specifically connected to the communications and notification process between Oxnard and The County of Ventura.

On Tuesday, January 25th a debriefing was held at the Ventura County EOC to review this response and specifically the notification procedures surrounding the event. Here are some of the findings, immediate actions, and planning issues resulting from that meeting:


  1. This event was highly unusual and did not fit traditional earthquake and tsunami models:This tsunami was the result of an undersea volcano and not a typical seismic event. The Tsunami Warning System is designed to detect and alert when earthquakes are recorded over a specific magnitude. When an earthquake occurs in a specific area and exceeds the sensor’s magnitude threshold, an automatic notification is sent out. The experts monitoring the system then do a rapid analysis to determine the likelihood, severity, and potential location(s) of any ensuing tsunami. This analysis also determines what level of threat (warning, alert, watch, or threat) will be affixed to that event. Different threat levels may be assigned to different geographic areas depending on a large number of factors. This information is then sent out through the Tsunami Warning System.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In the case of the January 25th event, the earthquakes associated with the eruption did not reach a sufficient magnitude to trigger the automatic warning system. In addition, once detected, traditional undersea earthquake-tsunami models, did not appear to apply to the event. Once additional analysis of the data was performed, proper notifications were made.
  2. California appeared to be at minimal risk and received a “Tsunami Alert” rather than a “Warning”: When the California State Warning Center received the “Alert” it was considered a “non-event” for our portion of the State. As such at approximately 4:40 am an email was sent out from the State Warning Center to the coastal counties notifying them of the “Alert”. Without a higher level of notification, many counties and cities were unaware of the “Alert” notification sitting in their email inboxes.
  3. Ventura County Notifications:When the Ventura County OES Duty Officer received the “Alert” notification combined with the statement of a “non-event” for our area, and with the knowledge that local fire and police agencies had also been copied on the Warning Center email, they made the determination that no public or local government notifications were required.



  1. Notifications to local agencies at the “ALERT” level: Beginning immediately, Ventura County OES will change their procedures and notify local cities, agencies, and special districts, via phone or text, of all “Tsunami Alerts”. This will allow local governments to make their own decisions about what type of protective actions and notifications are needed given the circumstances.


  1. County Tsunami Plan Update: Ventura OES will move up its schedule for updating the County-Wide Tsunami Response Plan. Once an initial draft is complete it will be distributed to the local governments to review, edit, and made additions as required.
  2. Tsunami Sirens:The County will explore funding sources and the feasibility of installing tsunami warning sirens in the highest risk locations. If this occurs, it is a long-term project.
  3. New Tsunami Signage:The County will work with the coastal cities to determine if better tsunami warning signage would help to raise the awareness of the public and increase public safety.
  4. New Notification Technology:The County will work with the local cities and agencies to determine if new automated recognition software could be used to increase the speed and accuracy of emergency warnings, alerts, and notifications by recognizing keywords, formats, and statements used in standard alerts and converting them to text messages.


While this event deviated greatly from previous and expected tsunami models, once we learned of the event, I believe our city responded quickly and appropriately to the threat. The immediate change to Ventura County “Alert” level notification will resolve one of our biggest and most immediate concerns regarding awareness and notification of these events, particularly if they occur during off-hours, weekends, and holidays. Updating the County-Wide Tsunami Plan will give us, our partner cities, and local agencies an opportunity to evaluate and improve the plan in light of this recent real-world event.

Overall I think we need to look at this event as an excellent “dress rehearsal”. There are many lessons and issues that would have never been revealed during a planning session or exercise that came to light on the morning of the 19th. This is our opportunity to work with our partner agencies, review and improve our plans, and explore new technologies that could assist us in protecting our community and its residents.

Link to US Tsunami Warning Center Page:

Respectfully Submitted,

Scott Brewer

Scott Brewer

City of Oxnard

Emergency Services Manager

Office: (805) 385-7717

Cell: (805) 616-9677

We will update you as we get more information!