The Port of San Diego has received international recognition for its efforts in the safekeeping and environmental care of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has announced that the Port submitted the winning entry in three of the four categories in its 2018 Environmental Improvement Awards program – Stakeholder Education, Awareness and Involvement; Environmental Enhancement; and Mitigation.
“Being recognized by the AAPA for three of our Green Port programs is a tremendous honor. In our commitment to being a 21st Century Port, these and other various projects and initiatives are aimed at keeping our bayfront beautiful and ensuring it remains a vibrant resource for all who visit it and call it home,” said Randa Coniglio, president and CEO, Port of San Diego.
“These awards are proof positive that there is no greater environmental champion of San Diego Bay than the Port of San Diego and that we are leading by example as fierce protectors, courageous innovators and trusted ambassadors,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners, Port of San Diego.
“As we celebrate Green Port Month, we are thrilled to be named among industry leaders on a number of environmental fronts and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners, stakeholders and neighbors to meet our goals for the future,” said Jason Giffen, assistant vice president, Planning & Green Port, Port of San Diego.
The Port of San Diego’s winning AAPA Environmental Improvement Awards entries were:
- Marine Debris Removal Project – Category: Mitigation
Through the Port’s newly-established Blue Economy Incubator, the Port partnered with Zephyr Debris Removal, LLC in January 2018 for a one-year pilot project to demonstrate an innovative new marine vessel and technology to better understand and address marine debris in San Diego Bay.
- Environmental Education Program – Category: Stakeholder Awareness, Education & Involvement
The Port of San Diego’s Environmental Education Program (EEP) was created as an engaging and proactive measure to foster environmental stewardship through innovative youth education programs and community outreach. The EEP supports a diverse portfolio of hands-on environmental curriculum addressing environmental protection and natural resources themes connected to San Diego Bay.
Threatened and Endangered Species Stewardship Program – Category: Environmental Enhancement
The Port of San Diego’s Threatened and Endangered Species Stewardship Program assists in the management and recovery of two federally-listed species, the California least tern and western snowy plover, which nest along San Diego Bay in an area known as the D Street Fill. The site is jointly managed by the Port and the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge as habitat for these and other special-status species. Under joint management, land formerly disturbed and degraded by human activity and development has become a protected area with a special role in the ecosystem.
The AAPA announced the awards on August 30, 2018, just days before the Port began celebrating September as Green Port Month, which showcases the Port’s progress in making the bay a healthy natural resource for generations to come. The AAPA is the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas, representing ports in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Through greenhouse gas reduction, sustainable development, water conservation, waste management and responsible business practices, the Port stewards the protection of the land, air and water in and around San Diego Bay.