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The Port of San Diego is celebrating five years since the founding of its environmental fund. Since the fund’s inception in 2006, port commissioners have approved 62 cleanup, outreach, and green building projects, of which 42 have been completed. An additional $7.3 million has been set aside for other projects to improve the condition of San Diego Bay and surrounding tidelands under the Port’s authority.

“As an environmental steward of San Diego Bay, Port staff has worked with our 5 member cities of San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado to protect the tidelands and its resources,” said Scott Peters, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners.

Cleanup projects have included removal of 300 tons of debris from the A 8 Anchorage, the restoration of 55 acres of salt marsh wetlands in Chula Vista, and the removal of invasive species and debris coupled with placement of native plants on 12 acres around Emory Cove.

Environmentally conscious construction and Port operations have also played a role. The Port Pavillion on Broadway Pier, opened in December 2010, was the first Port facility to achieve LEED certification for green building habits. “We’ve invested money in sustainable projects within the Port, such as 16 alternative fuel vehicles, over 100kw of solar panels, energy efficient lighting and replacing grass in our port parks with water-wise landscaping,” Peters said.

Educational outreach is another function of the environmental fund. Over 55,000 students have participated in environmental education programs tied to the Port. High Tech High biotechnology students conducted biology research related to the Bay and are assembling their findings into children’s books to be used in future programs.

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