• Campbell Carousel 01
  • Campbell Carousel 02
  • Campbell Carousel 03

Campbell Shipyard Sediment Cap

In a joint effort to improve the water quality and environment in San Diego Bay, the San Diego Unified Port District (Port), the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) and members of the Bay Council worked together to manage the contaminated sediments just offshore of the former Campbell Shipyard site. The large amount of accumulated contamination was the result of decades of industrial waste disposal. Together, the group created a uniquely engineered cap that not only isolates the contaminated sediment at the site, but has improved water quality and has a thriving eelgrass community living on the site.

Watch video in new window

The Port worked closely with the stakeholders of the Bay Council to develop a comprehensive Monitoring and Reporting Plan for the cap. The primary goals of the 20-year monitoring program are to ensure that:

  1. The integrity of the cap is maintained and documented
  2. The cap is effective in isolating contaminants
  3. The habitat cap is colonized by eelgrass, as designed

San Diego Bay, near the site of the former Campbell Shipyard

The Port regularly monitors the sediment on the cap and the surrounding bay water for contaminants. This is to ensure the cap is intact and that it is keeping the contaminants well isolated. Cleaning up the site has created a much healthier ecosystem for the marine life in the area.

  • Background

    Background Beginning in the 1880's the Campbell Shipyard Site (Site) was used for a variety of industrial operations such as shipbuilding, the manufacturing of bulk petroleum, and the disposal of gas waste. The former Campbell Shipyard began operations in 1926 and after over a century of these industrial activities there were considerable amounts of contamination in the soils, both on the land and in the marine sediments.
  • Monitoring

    Monitoring After the completion of the cap, a long term Monitoring and Reporting Program went into effect. To determine whether the cap remains effective, a series of measurements are regularly conducted on and around the cap. The concentrations of the contaminants cannot be above specific action levels. These action level concentrations were established by regulators for this Site.
  • Results

    Results As of 2013, five years into the monitoring program, the results show that the concentrations of contaminants in the cap sediments and surrounding water are well below regulatory action levels. In fact, some are not present at all. These early results indicate that the cap is working well. The cap will continue to be monitored through 2028 as outlined in the Monitoring Plan.

  • Industrial Activities


    Industrial Activities

  • Campbell Shipyard in operation


    Campbell Shipyard in operation

  • Clean Water Act signed into law


  • San Diego RWQCB issues Clean Up and Abatement Order 95-21


    San Diego RWQCB issues Clean Up and Abatement Order 95-21

  • San Diego Unified Port District takes over clean up from Campbell Shipyard


    figure 58_campbell

  • Campbell Shipyard site demolition begins


    Campbell Shipyard site demolition begins

  • Pier and docks removed


    Pier and docks removed

  • Cap Monitoring and Reporting Program developed; cap construction contract awarded


    Cap Monitoring and Reporting Program developed; cap construction contract awarded

  • Cap construction begins

    August 2006


  • Cap construction completed

    February 2008

    pic 3_dive_survey_laying_transects

  • Eelgrass planted

    Spring 2000

    pic 7_habitat_cap_eel_grass

  • 20-year monitoring begins

    June 2008

    pic 2_dive_survey

  • 20-year monitoring ends


    Monitoring every five years through 2028 unless established by the RWQCB that monitoring is no longer necessary.

    20-year monitoring ends


Publish date: September 2014. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or call (619) 686-6254. This public website's original content and documents, provided by the Port of San Diego, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License unless otherwise noted.

Creative Commons License