The Port of Hueneme was the first Port in California to complete certification under the Green Marine Environmental Program (Project) and re-certified under Green Marine again in 2017, continuing its role as an example of leadership in sustainability integrated seaport management. To receive this certification, the Port benchmarked its annual environmental performance through the program’s self-evaluation guides, had the results verified by an accredited external verifier, and agreed to the publication of the individual results. The Project involved assessing the Port’s environmental management approach across six categories, including invasive species, greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollutants, spill prevention, community impacts, environmental leadership, and waste management. The Project evaluated the Port’s progress utilizing specific performance indicators in each of the six categories, and required a commitment to annually reduce the Port’s environmental footprint and meet defined reduction targets within each respective category.
The Port of San Diego created its Environmental Education Program (EEP) as a way to foster environmental stewardship through innovative youth education programs and community outreach. Since 1995, the EEP has supported a diverse portfolio of education programs that provide hands-on environmental curriculum addressing environmental protection and natural resources management themes related to the San Diego Bay.
Through annual funding, the EEP supports local non-profit organizations that educate students, teachers and the general public throughout the San Diego Bay watershed about pollution prevention, environmental stewardship, healthy ecosystems, and natural resources connected with the bay. The Port currently supports eleven local environmental education programs through the EEP, with agreements in place for a cumulative total of $300,000 per year through 2022. Each supported program has developed its own unique approach to implementing curriculum directly connected to the environmental health and protection of the San Diego Bay and its watershed.
The Port of San Diego, in partnership with Zephyr Marine Debris Removal, is demonstrating an innovative new technology to better understand and address marine debris in San Diego Bay using a custom-made vessel and patent-pending skimming technology to remove marine debris in the San Diego Bay. By funding this project through the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator, the Port is using an innovative approach to fund innovation, as well as tomorrow’s next innovative idea. Since the start of the pilot project operations in February 2018 over 5,000 pounds of marine debris has been removed from the San Diego Bay. Concurrently a database is being developed for key variables influencing marine debris accumulation in San Diego Bay - such as location, seasons, weather events, tidal swings, and type of debris. This pilot project will help ascertain hot spot areas and trash accumulation patterns in San Diego Bay and ultimately inform ongoing efforts by the Port to prevent and reduce marine debris accumulation and improve water quality.
A Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species Stewardship Program is voluntarily implemented by the Port in coordination with the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and other agencies and organizations. This report details program activities conducted at one site for the 2017 avian breeding season. The Port’s T&E Species Stewardship Program assists in the management and recovery of two federally listed species that occur at the D Street Fill, a 110 acre site located adjacent to San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, California across a channel from the Port’s National City Marine Terminal. Creation of the fill site began in the 1960s with placement of dredge spoils from nearby development projects onto native marshland. Today, the D Street Fill consists of vegetated and unvegetated areas which support native and nonnative plant and animal species that have colonized the area. It is currently managed as important habitat for listed species, migrating shorebirds, nesting sea birds, and foraging raptors. A portion of the D Street Fill is Port tidelands and a portion is in the National Wildlife Refuge; therefore, the fill site is jointly managed by both agencies as habitat for these and other special status species.