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Port of San Diego

San Diego’s Hub For Blue Tech & Innovation



“We can real­ly advance the val­ue propo­si­tion for how we’re going to bring envi­ron­men­tal solu­tions, not just to San Diego Bay, but how we can expand those to ports across the world.”

— Jason Giffen, Vice President of the Port of San Diego’s Planning & Environment Program

Oceans Near-Term Outcome #7:

Oceans are healthier and more resilient.

Primary SDGs:

12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water

Type of Financing:

Builders Initiative

The Problem

Spurred by climate change, rising sea temperatures and levels are eroding the San Diego Bay shoreline and negatively impacting local marine life. The city’s economic vitality depends on the Port of San Diego continuing to be a hub for its shipping, military, seafood, and tourism industries.

The Approach

The Port of San Diego is a leading example of how a port can pursue public-private partnerships that “cut the blue tape” for permitting and provide critical resources and funding to projects that offer sustainable solutions to help mitigate and protect against climate-related threats. The Port’s Environment and Planning Program supports numerous projects that protect the resiliency of San Diego Bay’s shoreline and provide opportunities for its blue economy. Its Blue Economy Incubator (BEI) currently funds nine pilot projects, including projects related to resilient shoreline infrastructure, shellfish and seaweed aquaculture, and water/sediment remediation technologies.

The Impact

The critical projects and innovations that the Port supports will help to ensure the resiliency of San Diego Bay’s shorelines and the vitality of the local economy that depends on the Port and its waters:

  • Example 1: After 7 years of planning, the Port of San Diego launched an artificial reef ball project to protect the coastline and marine life of the San Diego bay. The 360 "reef balls" are made up of local sediment and oyster shells. They protect the coasts by preventing erosion because they break up waves reducing their energy before they hit the shore.
  • Example 2: Another BEI pilot project uses materials from ECOncrete, a company we invested in through Builders Initiative’s LLC. ECOncrete provides a shoreline resiliency solution with concrete that has been treated to ensure a Ph Balance that allows marine life to grow in and around it. This natural solution reinforces the shoreline as sea levels rise and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.