Public Invited to Celebrate Green Port Month with the Port of San Diego
As champions of the safekeeping and environmental care of San Diego Bay and its dynamic waterfront, the Port of San Diego celebrates September as Green Port Month. An annual tradition since 2008, Green Port Month showcases the Port’s progress in making the bay a healthy natural resource for generations to come.
New to Green Port Month this year, the Port invites the public to be Green Port champions by participating in its signature event, #ThatsMyBay Service Day on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
“#ThatsMyBay Service Day is a tremendous opportunity for our neighbors to join us in cleaning up the waterfront and showing pride in our bay. A Green Port means clean air, blue water and vibrant life for the people, animals and plant-life that call San Diego Bay home, and we couldn’t achieve this without the hard work and commitment by our Port community – tenants, partners, supporters and employees,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners.
#ThatsMyBay Service Day clean-up activities will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at multiple locations around the San Diego Bay waterfront. For more information on this and other Green Port Month events, go to portofsandiego.org/greenportmonth.
Also during Green Port Month, the Board of Port Commissioners will recognize environmental champions who are working year-round to maintain a healthy balance between maritime industry, tourism, water, land recreation, environmental stewardship and public safety. To be held during the September 12, 2018 Board meeting, the second annual Michelle White Environmental Awards program will honor four Port employees: Amy Tigri, Kimberly Coker, Julio Bello and Isabel Ortega; Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s Director of Engineering, Michael Denison, as the tenant awardee; and Ocean Connectors Executive Director Frances Kinney as the community organization awardee.
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.
“Recipients of the Michelle White Environmental Award carry on Michelle’s legacy as a fierce protector of San Diego Bay. The honorees follow in her footsteps by continuing to care for the bay’s precious resources and diverse ecosystems,” said Jason Giffen, Assistant Vice President of Planning & Green Port, Port of San Diego.
The September 12 Board meeting will also showcase the Port’s overall environmental efforts with a presentation of the 2017-2018 Green Port Year in Review, which highlights the Port’s Climate Action Plan progress, along with achievements in the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator, Green Business Network and many other environmental programs. Some accomplishments include:
● Securing a $5 million California Energy Commission grant for a microgrid – a solar energy infrastructure and battery storage – at Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal;
● Managing, in partnership with the U.S. Navy, 1,690 acres of eelgrass beds in San Diego Bay. This makes up 50 percent of Southern California eelgrass resources and 15 percent of the statewide eelgrass habitat, which improves water quality and light availability, increases biodiversity and supports healthy ecosystems;
● Completing 147 stormwater inspections of commercial, industrial and municipal operations and facilitating an 82-percent implementation rate of Best Management Practices for stormwater within those organizations;
● The removal of 5,000 pounds of trash from San Diego Bay in a single quarter by a new marine debris removal vessel, approved under the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator; and
● The successful growth and performance of a test batch of 100,000 oysters in the first year of the Port’s aquaculture nursery.