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General Press Releases

“Future of the Port” Planning Reaches Major Milestone

Board of Port Commissioners Certifies the Final Program Environmental Impact Report and Approves the Port Master Plan Update, Coastal Commission is Next

The Port of San Diego’s planning for the “future of the Port,” formally known as the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU), has reached a major milestone. On February 28, 2024, the Board of Port Commissioners unanimously certified the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and approved the PMPU. Next, Port staff will process the PMPU document with the California Coastal Commission with the goal of certification in late 2024.

“We are excited to enter the final phase of this important plan that reflects our collective vision – of our communities, stakeholders, and the Port – for the future of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront,” said Chairman Frank Urtasun, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “After 11 years of community engagement including numerous public meetings and exchanges with the public, the PMPU will help us continue to deliver on promises made to voters when the Port was established in 1962. It will protect and enhance opportunities for public access and parks, preserve our natural resources, balance the need for development, provide good paying jobs, and more.”

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who provided input and engaged with this process. Your commitment and involvement has ensured a very thorough and comprehensive effort,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, who has spearheaded the PMPU effort. “The Port has worked very hard to engage as many people as possible to ensure this plan meets the needs of all Californians and our communities for the next several decades. We look forward to the next stage with the California Coastal Commission and to celebrating when we cross the finish line.”

The Port Master Plan is a water and land use plan that designates specific areas of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront for a variety of uses including maritime, fishing, visitor-serving commercial, recreational, environmental conservation and protection, and navigation. The plan determines where port activities should take place, where recreational amenities should be located, and where commercial uses like hotels, restaurants, and visitor-serving retail may be built.

There are several reoccurring and prevalent themes throughout the PMPU. They are:

  • Healthy Bay and Healthy Communities – natural resources enhancement and protection; coastal resiliency; environmental justice; pollution reduction; public safety and security; community and stakeholder engagement, etc.
  • Improved Mobility and Coastal Access – more recreational areas, strong focus on multimodal systems and land use integration; regional collaboration on transportation infrastructure, etc.
  • Regional economic engine – economic resiliency and vitality, good-paying jobs, responsible and streamlined development, public-private partnerships, etc.

A Port Master Plan is required by the San Diego Unified Port District Act and the California Coastal Act. The Port is updating its Port Master Plan to reflect changes in the needs and priorities of Californians and the region’s growth. The current plan was approved in 1981 – over 40 years ago. There have been many location-specific amendments to the Port’s existing plan, but never a comprehensive update.

The PMPU effort began in 2013 and is being done through a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach and process known as Integrated Planning. This five-phase planning process will culminate with an updated Port Master Plan:

  1. Vision Statement and Guiding Principles (Completed in 2014) – This initial phase included a high-level assessment of Port-wide assets and extensive public engagement resulting in a foundational Vision Statement and Guiding Principles for the entire Integrated Planning framework.
  2. Framework Report (Completed in 2015) – In this phase, the Vision Process was further refined through consideration of a core set of comprehensive ideas, memorialized in a Framework Report, that informed the development of the Draft PMPU document. (Phase 1 and 2 make up the Integrated Planning Vision.)
  3. Port Master Plan Update Discussion Draft and Revised Discussion Draft (Completed in 2020) - This phase involved direction from the Board for drafting of the Draft PMPU documents to be used as the project description in the Draft Program EIR and which is comprised of goals, policies, and maps.
    • Baywide Elements and Planning District Goals (Completed in 2017)
    • Policy Concepts and Water and Land Use Maps (Completed in 2019)
    • Additional Policy Discussion Topics (Completed in 2019)
    • Public review of PMPU Discussion Draft (Completed in 2019)
    • Public Review of Revised Draft PMPU (Completed in December 2020)
  4. Environmental review pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Completed in February 2024)
    • Staff conducted the requisite “CEQA Environmental Review.” (Draft PEIR completed in 2021; Preliminary environmental review work began during the third phase.)
    • Public review of the Draft PEIR with the latest Draft PMPU. (Completed in 2022)
    • Release of the Final PEIR with the Final Draft PMPU. (Completed in December 2023)
    • Port Board certified the Program EIR and approved the PMPU (Completed on February 28, 2024)
  5. PMPU Certification (Current phase; anticipated completion in 2025)
    • Processing of the PMPU with the California Coastal Commission (Anticipated spring 2024 – late 2024)
    • California Coastal Commission considers certification of the PMPU (Anticipated in late 2024)
    • Port Board approves the PMPU as certified by the Coastal Commission (Anticipated in 2025)

For more information about the PMPU process and/or to sign up to receive updates, go to

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.