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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego Celebrates 16th Annual Green Port Month

The Port of San Diego is commemorating its 16th annual Green Port Month. Every September since 2008, the Port highlights its environmental achievements and recognizes the people and partners that help make them happen.

“The Port of San Diego is an environmental champion – one of our very top priorities is to protect, enhance, and preserve the air, land, water, and wildlife around and within San Diego Bay,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Green Port Month highlights this and gives us the chance to celebrate the environmental achievements of our employees, our tenants, and our external partners. We also encourage everyone to do their part to support the overall health of San Diego Bay, our surrounding communities, and the planet.”

In recognition of their environmental contributions, five Port employees, one Port tenant, and two regional partners received Michelle White Environmental Awards at the September 12 Board of Port Commissioners meeting. Michelle was a beloved Port employee who established the Port’s sustainability programs and started the Green Port Month program. To memorialize her commitment to environmental stewardship, the Port created the Michelle White Environmental Awards in 2016. The 2023 awardees are:

Port employees:

  • Thomas Hahn and Jerome Lemons – General Services
  • Windee Freireich – Marketing & Communications
  • Caroline Hobbs – Government & Civic Relations
  • Jennifer Spearel – Harbor Police


  • Shelley Griffin, Bay Club Hotel and Marina

Regional Partners:

  • Chris Helmer, Environmental and Natural Resources Director, City of Imperial Beach
  • California State Coastal Conservancy

Another highlight of Green Port Month is the release of the annual Green Port Year in Review, a report that spotlights the Port’s environmental accomplishments for the year. Some of the Port’s environmental successes in 2023 include:

  • The Port celebrated the arrival of two all-electric mobile harbor cranes, the first in North America.
  • The Port’s #ThatsMyBay campaign promoting public awareness of water quality issues reached more than 1.2 million impressions.
  • The Port’s energy consumption has decreased 35% and greenhouse gas emissions have reduced by 49% compared to 2008.
  • The Port and its tenants have made significant advances in meeting the Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy goals and objectives including:
    • Tenants have acquired five new electric yard tractors and two heavy-lifts to transport cargo at the marine terminals.
    • The Port is currently operating four electric vans and three pickup trucks with more than 20 additional electric vehicles scheduled for procurement throughout Fiscal Year 2024.
    • The Port launched a Zero Emission Truck Technical Assistance Program to help speed up the transition of heavy-duty trucks to zero-emission technologies.
    • The Port and the California Department of Forestry, with the help of the Urban Corps of San Diego County, planted 20 new trees at Cesar Chavez Park.
    • The Port installed a second shore power system at the cruise terminals, allowing two cruise ships to simultaneously use shore power rather than their diesel engines while at berth. In addition, Port Commissioners allocated $8.5 million to support shore power expansion at the National City Marine Terminal.
    • The Port increased funding for the Maritime Industrial Impact Fund from 0.5% to 2% of annual gross maritime industrial revenue. It’s estimated that more than $4.8 million will be directed into the MIIF over the next six fiscal years.
    • The Port completed a Blue Carbon Study to determine how much carbon is stored in San Diego Bay’s eelgrass beds and to evaluate how eelgrass conservation and restoration may support the Port’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals. 
    • SANDAG recognized the Port as a Platinum Tier Level winner in its annual iCommute Diamond Awards Program for the Port’s promotion of alternative commuting choices for employees.
    • NOAA Emissary and TV icon Al Roker featured two Blue Economy Incubator programs on the TODAY Show as part of NBC’s “Climate Today” series.

The full Green Port Year in Review can be viewed here.

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.


Port of San Diego Environment champions the safekeeping and environmental care of our diverse ecosystems. Year after year, environmental goals are set and measured to evolve environmental initiatives – ensuring San Diego Bay remains a vibrant resource and contributes to a remarkable way of life for visitors and residents for generations to come.