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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego Celebrates Refreshed Tree Canopy, Improved Air Quality in Embarcadero Park With Donation by the American Thoracic Society, AstraZeneca & Breathe Southern California

27 Trees Liven Up Embarcadero Marina Park North

The Port of San Diego along with the San Diego Convention Center, American Thoracic Society (ATS), AstraZeneca, Breathe Southern California and other partners teamed up to plant 27 new trees in Embarcadero Marina Park North along the San Diego Bay waterfront.

ATS, AstraZeneca, and Breathe Southern California donated twenty Tipuana tipu trees and seven pink Coral Gum trees to the Port of San Diego and leaders from all the organizations planted the trees on May 16, just prior to the start of ATS 2024, an international conference with 12,400 participants hosted by the San Diego Convention Center.

The Tipuana tipu and pink Coral Gum trees were selected because they are well-suited for the local environment, will help improve air quality, are visually appealing with their color and floral variations, and have wide canopies to provide shade from the sun.

“The Port of San Diego is actively refreshing landscaping all around San Diego Bay to enhance the environment and create an overall better visitor experience,” said Commissioner Sid Voorakkara, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “We are grateful to the American Thoracic Society, Breathe Southern California, and AstraZeneca for their generosity and partnership in this project.”

“The ATS members are strong advocates for regulating pollution and acting on climate change,” said M. Patricia Rivera, MD, ATSF. “Air pollution is one of the greatest environmental risks to the health of millions around the world. With cleaner air, countries can reduce the burden of disease from acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.”

“Hosting the American Thoracic Society benefits San Diego on multiple levels. In addition to creating a lasting environmental legacy through tree donations, ATS 2024 provides significant economic benefits, generating an estimated regional impact exceeding $58 million.  Furthermore, ATS helps all people by accelerating life-changing advancements in respiratory health,” said Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO, San Diego Convention Center. “We applaud ATS and partners for supporting local communities and helping the world to breathe.”

Tipuana tipus are known to be a fast-growing tree that can reach up 50 feet high with a 25- to 50-foot canopy. They are recognized by their yellow flowers that bloom in the summer. Pink Coral Gum trees can reach up to 40 feet tall with canopies up to 30 feet wide. In one year, a mature tree will absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen in exchange.

The new trees replace 19 African coral trees that were removed from the park due to their weakened state caused by weather events and the challenging marine environment.

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.