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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego Releases Discussion Draft for Trust Lands Use Plan

The Port of San Diego has released a Discussion Draft of its Trust Lands Use Plan and is seeking public review and feedback. When finalized, the Trust Lands Use Plan will provide goals, policies, and information on allowable uses and activities within approximately 8,000 additional acres of tidelands and submerged land of San Diego Bay granted to the Port on January 1, 2020, by the California State Lands Commission (State Lands) pursuant to Senate Bill 507 (SB 507).

Since 1962, consistent with the Port Act and Coastal Act, the Port has successfully managed and balanced a mix of coastal-dependent uses for the people of California in a manner that promotes commerce, navigation, recreation, fisheries, and environmental stewardship. Based on this history and expertise, State Lands recognized the Port is in the best position to manage and ensure efficient oversight of the additional area, which is often referred to as the “donut hole” because it is encircled by tidelands and submerged lands already under Port management. The newly granted areas begin from the mouth of San Diego Bay down to and including the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. (Note: The area granted to the Port comprises tidelands and submerged lands only, not the water column. The granted area also does not include submerged lands managed by the U.S. Navy.) Prior to SB 507, the Port managed 2,404 acres of tidelands and 3,677 acres of submerged tidelands. Including the newly granted area, the Port now manages more than 14,000 of tidelands and submerged lands in and around San Diego Bay and along the Imperial Beach coastline.

Pursuant to SB 507, the Port is creating a Trust Lands Use Plan (TLUP) for the additional area now under the Port’s trust and will add it to the Port Master Plan via an amendment, bringing the newly granted areas into the Port’s coastal permitting jurisdiction. The plan must describe any proposed development, preservation, or other use of the trust lands.

Port staff has developed a TLUP Discussion Draft, which is now available for review at: Public comment will be accepted through August 21, 2023, and should be emailed to or mailed to: Port of San Diego, Attn: Planning Department, P.O. Box 120488, San Diego, CA  92112-0488.

As part of the Port’s commitment to a transparent and public outreach process, the Port welcomes and encourages all feedback throughout the TLUP approval process. In addition to seeking public review, Port staff has met and will continue to meet with stakeholders to help identify current uses within the TLUP area that should be preserved, protected, and maintained; to help deconflict any competing uses/activities; and to see where there may be opportunities to improve, enhance and/or expand some uses. It’s important that any expanded or new uses do not conflict with priority uses that already exist on and around the bay like water recreation, cargo and other large vessel movement via the federal navigation channel, commercial fishing, public safety, national security, environmental conservation, and more.

Next Steps
After the 30-day review period of the TLUP Discussion Draft and based on the feedback received, Port staff will prepare a Draft TLUP to present to the Board of Port Commissioners for additional feedback. If directed by the Board, staff will present the draft to State Lands and request conditional acceptance and feedback. Upon conditional acceptance, the Port will conduct environmental review per the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Once the CEQA process is complete, Port staff will process the Draft TLUP as a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA) with the California Coastal Commission. Once the PMPA is certified by the California Coastal Commission, Port staff will submit the TLUP PMPA to State Lands for final approval. There will be additional public review and input opportunities throughout each of these steps. Port staff anticipates final approval of the TLUP

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.