(Sacramento), Calif. – The State Lands Commission and the San Diego Unified Port District announced today an agreement to work together to develop a pilot marine planning partnership in San Diego County. The agreement will ensure meaningful public participation, accountability, transparency, and a science-based process for adaptively managing ocean resources.
“I am encouraged the San Diego Unified Port District embraced this opportunity to partner with the State Lands Commission on a program that will be the first of its kind in California,” said State Controller Betty Yee, who chairs the Commission. “I will work to ensure all stakeholders continue to have a voice in this process, and that transparency is at the forefront of our efforts. The San Diego region’s marine research knowledge will provide a strong science basis to plan for the blue economy while preserving critical resources.”
The agreement memorializes a partnership between the Commission and Port of San Diego to develop a framework to engage in a comprehensive, ecosystem-based, stakeholder driven partnership for state-owned tidelands and submerged lands in the Pacific Ocean offshore San Diego County. The agreement will help guide cooperative future planning for ocean areas, which are managed by the State Lands Commission, with holistic consideration of adjacent areas of the San Diego Bay that are managed by the Port of San Diego and the Commission.
“As the environmental steward of San Diego Bay, the Port has a long history of proactive and ongoing efforts to protect and manage this water and land resource, our priceless and irreplaceable regional asset,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Marshall Merrifield. “Our historic agreement with the State Lands Commission to partner on planning for areas of the Pacific Ocean adjacent to Port jurisdiction is a model of collaboration among public agencies for the greater good. This partnership will support scientific decision making, management consistency across jurisdictions, and robust public engagement.”
“The Port’s partnership with the State Lands Commission demonstrates our commitment to holistic planning and community engagement,” said Board Commissioner Ann Moore. “The Port is in the midst of an Integrated Planning effort in which we are developing a thoughtful and balanced approach to creating a vibrant San Diego Bay for future generations, and this cooperative effort supports and furthers those goals.”
The planning effort will be anchored on the three pillars of science, robust collaboration, and extensive stakeholder participation. The Commission and Port are committed to these goals and to gathering all the data possible and to provide that information in a comprehensive and assessable manner. The memorandum of agreement is available here.