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General Press Releases

Port of San Diego’s Environmental Efforts Again Recognized with Green Marine Certification

The Port of San Diego has been re-certified by Green Marine, North America’s largest voluntary environmental certification program for the maritime industry. The Port first enrolled in Green Marine in 2018 and at that time was the second port in California to become a Green Marine participant. The re-certification covers calendar year 2021.

To earn the re-certification, the Port had to undergo a rigorous evaluation of its environmental initiatives. Results of the evaluation were then verified by an accredited third party. The program addresses 14 key areas that include community relations and environmental leadership with precise criteria that measure progress beyond regulations.

“The Port of San Diego continues to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the health and environment of San Diego Bay,” said Port of San Diego Board Chairman Dan Malcolm. “To once again have our environmental efforts receive such outstanding rankings proves we are headed in the right direction. We continue to be environmental champions, advancing initiatives to ensure San Diego Bay and its surrounding environment will thrive for generations to come.”

Areas in which the Port was evaluated include initiatives for reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutants, spill prevention and stormwater management, community impacts, environmental leadership, waste management, and underwater noise. Initiatives were ranked on a 1-to-5 scale based on detailed criteria specified by Green Marine’s performance indicators, which are updated every evaluation to ensure there is always room for improvement. Level 1 indicates the monitoring of regulations and Level 5 reflects excellence and leadership. Overall, the Port of San Diego ranked in the top ten percent of North American ports in the Green Marine program with an average score of 4.3 out of 5 across all categories.

A signature initiative that was recognized during the re-certification was the Port completing its Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS), the most ambitious clean air policy document of its kind in the state of California. It includes aspirational goals to reduce emissions from seven sources – cargo handling equipment, commercial harbor craft, shipyards, heavy-duty trucks, vehicle fleets, oceangoing vessels, and rail. The MCAS identifies and prioritizes approximately 34 projects to further reduce emissions and improve air quality while also supporting efficient and modern maritime operations.

Green Marine’s 2021 certification program had 171 participants. They included ship owners, port authorities (including four in California), terminal operators, shipyard managers, and the seaway corporations. Certificates were distributed in June during the Greentech 2022 conference in Montreal.

Participants complete a self-evaluation annually and meet with a third-party verifier every two years for re-certification based on the most recent self-evaluation. Verification includes interviews, site visits, and reviews of project and program documentation to support reported scores.

Results of this year’s program demonstrated that the biggest overall improvement of all participants was in the waste management category. Also, shipyards were the category with the highest growth and the most improvement. For participating ports, the results found that 80 percent obtained Level 3 or higher for environmental leadership, and almost a quarter of participating ports are conducting a port-wide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.

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.