Silver Strand Beach
Silver Strand Beach is an unincorporated beach neighborhood in the Ventura County, California, United States, lying between the mouth of Channel Islands Harbor on the north and the ocean entrance to the Port of Hueneme on the south. The eastern side of the beach community lies along the boundary of the Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme. The harbors and the Naval base almost completely surround Silver Strand, keeping the area relatively separate from the city of Oxnard and making it accessible by only one main road, Victoria Avenue. Because of its location near an open water trench, it is common to see a large array of marine life including dolphins, seals, and jellyfish.
Silver Strand is also home to the Oxnard Base of the United States Coast Guard and the National Weather Service Oxnard operation which covers Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County.
Silver Strand, commonly referred to as "The Strand", is a collection of mostly post-WW II single family homes, some Multi-Family homes, and some newer homes directly on the beach. There are two small zoned commercial districts. The main commercial district is centered around Roosevelt Boulevard and consists of a collection of small restaurants, a yoga studio, and a few real estate offices other small businesses. The second commercial zone is located at the south end of the beach and features a local pub with occasional live music.
Channel Islands Beach, a census-designated place (CDP), includes Silver Strand and the unincorporated beach-front communities to the north that were separated by the construction of the ocean entrance to Channel Islands Harbor. The Population is 3,315. Median Household income is $71,850 with a per capita income $42,974. Median age is 39. The population is 89% White Non-Hispanic.
Silver Strand is known by numerous different names and spelling. When the name was created as part of the Hollywood Beach subdivision in 1924 it was spelled as one word Silverstrand. However, in the Ventura county coastal zoning ordinance the area is referred to with two words Silver Strand.
The Silver Strand Beach community dates back to 1924 when the Hollywood Beach subdivision was initiated in unincorporated Ventura County. Silver Strand was mapped in 1925, and Hollywood by the Sea in 1926. Hollywood by the Sea is located adjacent to Silver Strand on the east side of Victoria Avenue / Roosevelt Boulevard. The harbor, which was constructed in the 1960s, is located where much of Hollywood by the Sea once stood. The original Hueneme lighthouse, constructed in 1874, was adjacent to the south end of the neighborhood but the establishment of the Naval Construction Battalion Center blocked direct access to Hueneme on the other side of the port and took over the south five blocks of the Silver Strand.
In 1970, the declining luxury cruise liner La Jenelle, formerly known as the SS Arosa Star, had been anchored off Silverstrand awaiting investments for reconditioning. On April 13 strong winds pushed the ship near the entrance of the Port of Hueneme. With only two crewmen aboard, they were unable to keep the wind and high waves from pushing the boat onto a sand bar near the beach where the ship capsized. Since the boat was well over 50 years old, it was abandoned by its owners and quickly started disintegrating in the surf. To prevent injury, the navy cut the exposed top off the boat and then filled hull and surrounding area with rocks and sand. This created a breakwater for the port as well as a popular fishing spot on the south end of the beach. Parts of the deck and hull are still visible from the south jetty and a full length view of the ship can be seen from the ocean.
Silver Strand Beach is a one mile long sandy beach running 150 yds in width. It is capped by the north and south jetties which both have small parking lots and limited restroom facilities. The coast is a sandy bottom beach break which can sometimes feature rip tides and an undertow. Lifeguards are on duty every day during the summer and off duty from Sept to May.
The area's isolated setting and blue collar/Naval history contributes to a reputation for localism among Silver Strand's surfers. The Silver Strand Locals, often referred to as SSL, have gained a near Napoleonic status in California's surfing culture and have been featured in playboy and the documentary The Swell Life.
Music and entertainment
Silver Strand Beach is credited as being the birthplace of the Nardcore style of hardcore punk music. Oxnard was the epicenter of the early 1980s hardcore punk scene in Southern California, and many of its founding genre bands were from Silverstrand, most notable being Dr. Know, Stalag 13 and Ill Repute.
- *City Data - Channel Islands Beach 2007 data, Accessed November 8th, 2009
- "HOLLYWOOD BEACH" 13 MR 2. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved November 24, 2013 from CountyView GIS: layer "Record Maps"
- "SILVER STRAND" 15 MR 14. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved November 24, 2013 from CountyView GIS: layer "Record Maps"
- "HOLLYWOOD-BY-THE-SEA" 18 MR 22. Ventura County Recorder Retrieved November 24, 2013 from CountyView GIS: layer "Record Maps"
- CIBSD History, Accessed November 8th, 2009
- *The Swell Life Darren E. McInerney, 2001