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General Press Releases

Board of Port Commissioners to Consider Next Steps in Trust Lands Use Plan Development

Public Invited to Tuesday Meeting

The Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners is scheduled next week to consider directing staff to submit the Draft Trust Lands Use Plan to the California State Lands Commission (State Lands) and begin environmental review of the draft plan. When finalized, the Trust Lands Use Plan (TLUP) will provide goals, policies, and information on allowable uses and activities within approximately 8,000 additional acres of water area within San Diego Bay and approximately five acres of land area granted to the Port on January 1, 2020, by State Lands pursuant to Senate Bill 507 (SB 507). The TLUP only addresses the newly granted area and does not address the submerged lands and tidelands included in the Port’s jurisdiction prior to 2020.

As part of the Port’s commitment to transparency, the Port has been seeking input from the public and stakeholders to help identify current uses within the TLUP area that should be preserved, protected, and maintained; to proactively address potentially competing uses/activities; and to see where there may be opportunities to improve, enhance and/or expand some uses. It’s important that any expanded or new uses do not conflict with priority uses that already exist on and around the bay like water recreation, cargo and other large vessel movement via the federal navigation channel, commercial fishing, public safety, national security, environmental conservation, and more. On July 21, 2023, the Port released a Discussion Draft of the TLUP for a 30-day public review period and received 22 comments. The Draft TLUP incorporates revisions based on comments received on the Discussion Draft. Additionally, Port staff has met and will continue to meet with key stakeholders.

The Draft TLUP can be found at Additionally, to make the revised version of the document as reader-friendly as possible, Port staff has also posted a tracked-changes version of the document to ensure revisions are easy to discern and understand.

Meeting Details
Port staff will make a presentation to and seek direction from the Board during its regular monthly meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at the Port of San Diego Administration Building at 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101. The public and stakeholders are invited and are welcome to provide public comment. Information about how to view, attend and participate in the meeting can be found here.

Pursuant to SB 507, the Port is creating a Trust Lands Use Plan (TLUP) for the additional area now under the Port’s trust and will add it to the Port Master Plan via an amendment, bringing the newly granted areas into the Port’s coastal permitting jurisdiction. The plan must describe any proposed development, preservation, or other use of the trust lands.

Since 1962, the Port has successfully managed and balanced a mix of coastal-dependent uses on and around San Diego Bay for the people of California while striking a balance that respects both local perspectives and broader statewide public interests. The Port does this in a manner that promotes commerce, navigation, recreation, fisheries, and environmental stewardship consistent with the Port Act, the Coastal Act, and the Public Trust Doctrine. Based on this history and expertise, State Lands recognized the Port is in the best position to manage and ensure efficient oversight of the additional area, which is often referred to as the “donut hole” because it is encircled by tidelands and submerged lands already under Port management. The newly granted areas begin from the mouth of San Diego Bay down to and including the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. (Note: The area granted to the Port comprises tidelands and submerged lands only, not the water column. The granted area also does not include submerged lands managed by the U.S. Navy.) Prior to SB 507, the Port managed 2,404 acres of tidelands and 3,677 acres of submerged tidelands. Including the newly granted area, the Port now manages more than 14,000 of tidelands and submerged lands in and around San Diego Bay and along the Imperial Beach coastline.

Next Steps
If directed to do so by the Board, Port staff will conduct environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and submit a draft of the TLUP to State Lands. Once the CEQA process is complete, Port staff will process the Draft TLUP as a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA) with the California Coastal Commission. Once the PMPA is certified by the California Coastal Commission, Port staff will submit the TLUP PMPA to State Lands. Port staff anticipates final approval of the TLUP in 2025. Port staff is actively coordinating with State Lands and this coordination will continue as next steps of the TLUP progress. There will be additional public review and input opportunities throughout each of these steps.

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.