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Tidelands Activation Program

As part of our efforts to support a vibrant and active waterfront, the Port of San Diego offers sponsorship to community organized events through the Tidelands Activation Program, or TAP.

Fish balloons at a parade

Tidelands Activation Program (TAP)

This annual grant program supports events, large and small, that engage the community and inspire visitors to enjoy San Diego Bay. Events are selected through a rigorous public evaluation process led by the Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee.


The Port of San Diego offers sponsorship to organizations through the Tidelands Activation Program (TAP), an annual grant initiative that provides funding and/or service fee waivers for large and small events that engage the community and inspire visitors to enjoy San Diego Bay. Recipient events are selected through a thorough evaluation process that includes review by the Port’s Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC) of community and business representatives.



Applications for event sponsorships are submitted annually for the upcoming fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The anticipated timeline* for applying for the FY21 TAP, is as follows:

November 13, 2019 FY21 TAP application release
January 8, 2020    FY21 TAP application deadline
January–February 2020 District staff review 
March 2020 TAP Advisory Committee review 
April 2020 Board review and approval

*timeline subject to change

Apply for the Tidelands Activation Program

The FY21 TAP application is completed and submitted online. Prior to applying, prospective applicants are encouraged to download and review the sample application. Applications must be submitted by 5PM PST January 8, 2020 to be considered. 

New this year – all applicants will register by clicking “Log In” in the upper right-hand corner of the new user-friendly site prior to beginning their application(s). 

Some of the benefits of registering in this intuitive portal is applicants can work on their applications and collaborate with colleagues from any device before submitting their final application. User also appreciate that common data fields will automatically populate across multiple applications and responses are saved to the cloud as you work. You can check back into the site to view the status of your application. Prior to applying, we encourage you to download and review the sample application to familiarize yourself with the program requirements. 

Do not email, fax, or hand deliver the application as this will not be accepted. Only online applications that are submitted by 5PM PST Wednesday, January 8, 2020 will be reviewed. The Port is not responsible for applications that are not received due to technical issues. 

Click here for sample application.

Click here to complete the online FY21 TAP Application


  • Events should take place on Port Tidelands. This includes the 22 public parks, Broadway Pier & Pavilion, B Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal, Aquatic Center in National City, public open space along San Diego Bay and the Imperial Beach oceanfront.
  • Moving events with no single fixed location such as runs, walks and bike rides, must have a route(s) that is at least in part on Port Tidelands.
  • The number of people the event will attract to the Port Tidelands considering the area utilized, the nature of the event and the affected community.
  • The ability of the event to achieve one or more of the following:
    • Attract diverse visitors and demographics to District Tidelands;
    • Foster relationships between the Port and its stakeholders in the region and community;
    • Provide a desirable attraction that is rare or unique to the Port Tidelands;
    • Provide the Port with opportunities to educate the public and its stakeholders, promote one or more of its mission areas, attract attention to future economic activities and opportunities on the Port Tidelands, and activate its parks, the waterfront and San Diego Bay through community engagement and/or media coverage;
    • Become self-sustaining through broad support and sustainable funding;
    • Grow in attendance.
  • The applicant's ability to measure the event's attendance and support.
  • Percentage of the event's budget that is being requested from the Port (funding and services).
  • Projected impacts of the event on Port tenant businesses and the surrounding community.
  • Documented past and expected future economic impact and financial return to the District. For certain events, the Port may audit and/or require the applicant to conduct a post-event economic impact analysis.
  • Expected promotional and/or marketing value of the event for the Port through attendee participation, event promotion and media coverage.

Information for Event Organizers

Click for the Tidelands Activation Program - Event Organizer Toolkit and Event Wrap-Up Form.

Applications open November 2019

Event Organizer Deliverables
Port Deliverables    
Press Releases
Speaking Programs
Port Logo
PNG Logo Files
EPS Logo Files
Online Inclusion Links
Social Media
Event Permit Logistics
Required Attachments

Location Tagging
Links to pictures, site maps, capacity info.
and google maps link
On Site Materials Coordination
Giveaways/Marketing Materials
Recognition Cover-Sheet
Contact Information

More documents and FAQs below.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much funding can I request from the Tidelands Activation Program?

While there is no pre-established limit for requesting funding or service fee waivers, the Board of Port Commissioners sets the program’s total budget on an annual basis. The average amount of funding support for community events ranges from $500 to $7,500. Fee-waiver values are calculated per event and based on the verification of event requirements.

What is the annual budget allotted for the Tidelands Activation Program?

The annual budget varies from year to year. Annually, the Port receives requests that exceed the available TAP budget.  

What types of service fee waivers can I apply for?

Service fees include the Port’s park and facility permitting, parking, dockage and wharfage, and relocation of furnishings. Other services will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and you may be required to pay for certain services even if your event is sponsored with waivers of facility fees.

How will I know if my sponsorship application was approved?

You will be notified of Port staff's initial recommendation via email. Additionally, you can attend the Tidelands Activation Program Advisory Committee (TAPAC) meeting and the Board of Port Commissioners meeting where the final approval is made. Following the Board meeting, a complete list of approved sponsorships will be available. 

Tidelands Activation Program Schedule of Events for FY 19/20

  • San Diego Symphony Orchestra Bayside Summer Nights: June 28-September 1, 2019
  • The Ocean Foundation’s Ocean Connection Ocean Connectors Eco Tours (various dates)
  • Challenged Sailors San Diego’s Adaptive Sailing for Disabled Sailors on San Diego Bay (various dates)
  • City of Coronado, Coronado Fourth of July Celebration: July 4, 2019
  • The Islander Sports Foundation’s Crown City Classic: July 4, 2019
  • Urban Angels’ Horizon Music Festival: July 6, 2019
  • Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Free Yoga in the City: July 6, 2019
  • City of Coronado Movies on the Bay: July 26, 2019
  • Imperial Beach Sun and Sea Festival: July 13, 2019
  • South Bay Latin Music Festival: July 27, 2019
  • Youth Fishing Program: August 10, 2019
  • Life Sports Foundation Chula Vista Triathlon: August 11, 2019
  • City of Chula Vista, Chula Vista HarborFest: August 17, 2019
  • The Barking Lot Barks & Brews: August 24, 2019
  • Kiwanis Club of Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis Kids Fishing Derby: August 24, 2019
  • San Diego Bicycle Coalition Annual Bike the Bay: August 25, 2019
  • 3D Art Expo LLC U. S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition: August 31, 2019
  • Enlisted Leadership Foundation Chief Petty Officer Pride Day: September 6, 2019
  • Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank San Diego Blues Festival: September 7, 2019
  • South Bay Alliance Association Inc. 12th Annual South Bay PRIDE Art and Music Festival: September 14, 2019
  • SDPAC San Diego Festival of Beer: September 21, 2019
  • National City Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual Bayside Brew and Spirits Festival: September 21, 2019
  • Emerald C Gallery Coronado Music Festival: September 22, 2019
  • Outdoor Outreach LEAD the Way: September 27, 2019
  • Kiwanis Club of Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis Kids Ocean Science Discovery Day: September 28, 2019
  • Ovarian Cancer Alliance of San Diego Teal Steps Walk: September 28, 2019
  • City of Imperial Beach Symphony by the Sea: October 5, 2019
  • San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run: October 5, 2019
  • San Diego Brewers Guild Fest: November 2, 2019
  • Ilan-Lael, Inc. Pacific Rim Park 25th Anniversary Celebration: November 3, 2019
  • San Diego Fleet Week: November 6, 2019
  • Point Loma Rotary Club Ride the Point: November 9, 2019
  • Veterans Memorial Center San Diego Veterans Day Parade: November 11, 2019
  • Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank Operation Gobble 2019: November 20, 2019
  • San Diego Japanese Community Center San Diego Ramen Festival: November 21, 2019
  • Fast Forward Futures, LLC San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival: November 23, 2019
  • City of Coronado Snow Mountain and Holiday Events: December 6, 2019
  • San Diego Convention Center Corporation, San Diego Convention Center’s 30th Anniversary “Winter Wonderfront” Celebration: December 8, 2019
  • 48th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: December 8, 2019 and December 15, 2019
  • Good Neighbor Project Vessel Decorating for 48th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: December 8, 2019 and December 15, 2019
  • Makers Arcade, Makers Arcade Holiday Fair: December 14, 2019
  • Institute for Shipboard Organization Semester at Sea – Prospective Student Open Ship Event: December 22, 2019 - January 5, 2020
  • Zeta Sigma Foundation Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade: January 19, 2020
  • San Diego Anglers 25th Annual San Diego Anglers Open Bay Bass Tournament: February 1, 2020
  • San Diego Audubon Society San Diego Bird Festival: February 26, 2020
  • National City Chamber of Commerce 8th Annual International Mariachi Festival and Competition: March 8, 2020
  • Cuck Fancer Best Coast Beer Fest: March 14, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Yoga with Shawna Inc. San Diego Yoga Festival: March 20, 2020
  • San Diego Sportfishing Council Day at the Docks: April 19, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • API Initiative Pacific Rim Festival: April 25, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • San Diego Bicycle Club Barrio Logan Grand Prix: April 25, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • South Bayfront Sailing Association South Bay Maritime Fest: April 25, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • San Diego Alpha Foundation 20th Annual Sheila R. Hardin San Diego Multi-Cultural Festival: April 25, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation Celebration of Champions: May 1, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego Gator by the Bay: May 7, 2020  FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Navy Southwest MWR 34th Annual Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk: May 17, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Maritime Museum Association of San Diego Festival of the Sea: May 23, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • San Diego Bay Festival: May 30, 2020 FY20 Event Cancelled
  • Duncan McIntosh Company San Diego International Boat Show: June 11, 2020
  • San Diego Anglers 9th Annual Port of San Diego Kids Fishing Derby: June 14, 2020
  • One World Bridge Powwow by the Sea: June 20, 2020
  • Cultures of the American Dia De San Juan Salsa Festival: June 21, 2020
  • Life Sports Foundation San Diego International Triathlon: June 21, 2020
  • City of Imperial Beach 4th of July Fireworks: July 4, 2020

What's Happening at the Port?