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The Port of San Diego is soliciting proposals for programs that would provide an environmental benefit to the San Diego Bay and its surrounding tidelands. The Port’s board of directors has authorized the expenditure of up to $500,000 from its environmental fund to fund education, research, habitat preservation and restoration, and other conservation efforts.

The Port has already committed $7.3 million to various improvement projects, including the removal of 300 tons of debris from the infamous A-8 anchorage, the restoration of 55 acres of salt marsh wetlands at the Chula Vista Wildlife Reserve, and environmentally-friendly construction efforts at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, which resulted in the award of a LEED Gold certification.

“The Board of Port Commissioners is dedicated to protecting and improving the environmental conditions of San Diego Bay,” board chairman Lou Smith said in a release. “As an environmental steward, the Port is looking forward to supporting a new group of environmental projects.”

Applications for project funding will be taken through October 24, and must include a minimum of 30 percent in matching funds or in-kind services. The minimum grant amount is $10,000.

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