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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego Celebrates September as Green Port Month

September is Green Port Month at the Port of San Diego, and the Port will mark this annual tradition with environmental awards, employee educational events and by sponsoring a cleanup site at I Love a Clean San Diego’s Coastal Cleanup Day on September 21, 2019.

A highlight of Green Port Month is the annual Green Port Year in Review. This document outlines the Port’s environmental achievements and will be presented at the September 16, 2019 Board of Port Commissioners meeting.

“As champions of San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego works every day to protect the fragile environment of its dynamic waterfront,” said Garry Bonelli, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “Our Green Port Program helps reduce air pollution, saves energy and water, and keeps our bay clean and beautiful. Green Port Month puts the spotlight on the Port’s work and affords everyone the opportunity to celebrate our environmental successes.”

Also in September, the Port will present Michelle White Environmental Awards to three employees and two tenant partners who have demonstrated their commitment to being environmental champions. This year’s employee recipients are Eric Womack, Port of San Diego Harbor Police; Nacho Sobers, General Services; and Sheila Kanoya, Waterfront Arts & Activation. The tenant partner recipients are Sarah Marsh of Dole Fresh Fruit International and Walter Wilson of Navy Region Southwest, in honor of their collaboration with the Port on the implementation of environmental initiatives.

The Michelle White Environmental Awards were named for a Port employee who started the Green Port Program and was instrumental in creating the Port’s Climate Action Plan. The Port began this awards program in her honor after her passing in 2016.

As part of its environmental efforts in fiscal year 2018/2019, the Port:

  • Funded 10 local non-profit environmental education programs reaching approximately 26,000 youth within the San Diego Bay watershed;
  • Participated in and sponsored five cleanup events around San Diego Bay and hosted the first annual #ThatsMyBay Service Day, removing approximately 22.6 tons of trash with the assistance of 1,630 volunteers;
  • Implemented five successful campaigns through San Diego Gas & Electric’s Local Government Partnership to engage employees and Port businesses in energy efficiency and conservation. More than 2,000 individual sustainability actions were taken across government, maritime, hospitality and industrial sectors;
  • Conducted restoration efforts at Grand Caribe Isle, including the planting of 280 native plant species in partnership with the San Diego Audubon Society;
  • Provided water quality and biological monitoring efforts for 10 in-water construction projects within San Diego Bay;
  • Installed 27 electric vehicle charging stations at three Port facilities;
  • Implemented the Terminal Stormwater Action Plan to proactively prevent water quality impacts from activities at the Port’s marine terminals, resulting in 11 individual Best Management Practice plans, a new monitoring plan and inspection schedule, and new inlet filters at 71 locations;
  • Launched the first commercial seaweed aquaculture project in San Diego Bay, including the first culinary seaweed operation in the Southern California Bight (The Southern California Bight is the curved coastline of Southern California from Point Conception to San Diego);
  • Became Green Marine Certified, a renowned environmental certification program for the North American marine industry, with top rankings in seven out of eight environmental categories;
  • The Port and California State Lands Commission completed a Preliminary Assessment Report for the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership outlining five recommendations to inform ocean-related decision making;
  • Completed a comprehensive Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Coastal Resiliency Report which identifies an adaptive management framework to reduce coastal flooding;
  • Removed more than 33,000 pounds of trash from San Diego Bay in one year using the Marine Debris Removal Vessel, an original Blue Economy Incubator Pilot Project; and
  • Removed more than 3,000 pounds of discarded fishing line and gear, as well as sunken bikes and scooters from San Diego Bay.

In addition to these environmental successes, the Port secured partnerships and grant funding to monitor endangered species; assist with green transportation projects; install charging stations for electric cargo handling equipment; and install an innovative modular wetland system to capture and treat stormwater.

The Port of San Diego encourages everyone to be an environmental champion of San Diego Bay and its tidelands. To find out more information on the Port’s environmental initiatives, 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.


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.