Port of San Diego Board Approves Port Master Plan Update

Shore power in San Diego

The Board of Port Commissioners of the Port of San Diego unanimously certified the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) and approved the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU), according to a press release. 

This action marks a critical step in the comprehensive planning process for the future development and environmental management of San Diego Bay and its waterfront.

Frank Urtasun, chairman of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners, stated: “We are excited to enter the final phase of this important plan that reflects our collective vision – of our communities, stakeholders, and the Port – for the future of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront.” He added: “After 11 years of community engagement, including numerous public meetings and exchanges with the public, the PMPU will help us continue to deliver on promises made to voters when the Port was established in 1962. It will protect and enhance opportunities for public access and parks, preserve our natural resources, balance the need for development, provide good paying jobs, and more.”

Commissioner Ann Moore commented: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who provided input and engaged with this process. Your commitment and involvement have ensured a very thorough and comprehensive effort. The Port has worked very hard to engage as many people as possible to ensure this plan meets the needs of all Californians and our communities for the next several decades. We look forward to the next stage with the California Coastal Commission and to celebrating when we cross the finish line.”

A Port Master Plan is required under the San Diego Unified Port District Act and the California Coastal Act. The plan aims to update the port’s guiding framework to reflect current and future needs, replacing the last comprehensive plan approved in 1981.

The PMPU outlines the utilization of land and water around San Diego Bay, designating areas for various activities, including maritime operations, fishing, commercial ventures, recreation, and environmental conservation. 

Initiated in 2013, the PMPU process involved five phases:

  1. Vision Statement and Guiding Principles (Completed in 2014)
  2. Framework Report (Completed in 2015)
  3. Port Master Plan Update Discussion Draft and Revised Discussion Draft (Completed in 2020)
  4. Environmental review pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Completed in February 2024)
  5. PMPU Certification (Current phase; anticipated completion in 2025)


Following the board’s approval, the next steps include submitting the PMPU to the California Coastal Commission for certification, which is expected to be completed by late 2024. This phase is crucial for implementing the plan’s vision, ensuring the Port of San Diego continues to serve as a key economic driver while enhancing public access and environmental sustainability.

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