Port Chairman Frank Urtasun's Statement on Commissioner Rafael Castellanos' Resignation
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“Rafael Castellanos is an exemplary leader and community champion, and he has been an excellent Port commissioner. His 11 years of service to the Port of San Diego have been full of progress and achievements. It has been a sincere honor to serve alongside him. It saddens me to see him go. On behalf of the Board of Port Commissioners, farewell and following seas to you, Rafa. We wish all the best for you and your family.” – Chairman Frank Urtasun, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners
Rafael Castellanos’ notable achievements during his 11 years of service as a Port of San Diego commissioner include:
- Applied his real estate law expertise to the pre-development and approval of Port real estate projects, including the $1.3 billion Gaylord Pacific resort hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront and the San Diego Symphony’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
- Helped lead the Port's Blue Economy Incubator and establish San Diego Bay as the Blue Tech Bay. The Blue Economy Incubator is accelerating the development of ocean dependent industry and job creation through the performance of blue technology and aquaculture demonstration projects in San Diego Bay.
- Helped lead the Port’s modernization and electrification efforts, which have already delivered over $60 million of maritime cargo handling and cruise vessel electrification improvements to the Port, including the first fully electric mobile harbor crane system in North America.
- Helped lead efforts to stop the flow of sewage polluting our beaches and rivers in the Tijuana River Valley. In 2022, long-running lawsuits by the Port, San Diego, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, the State Lands Commission, and the Surfrider Foundation were settled and resulted in an agreement to mitigate sewage and toxic chemical flows.
- Helped lead labor peace policy efforts to optimize development and operations.
- Served as chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners in 2018 and 2023.
- Chaired the Port’s Environmental Advisory Committee since 2014.
- Served as the Port’s representative to the Barrio Logan Planning Group since 2014.
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.