Port of San Diego declares local emergency

Proclamation based upon COVID-19 would allow port district to seek assistance from other government agencies.

SAN DIEGO—The bottom of the COVID-19 crisis will take weeks, if not months, to discover. Board members with the Port of San Diego, amidst the evolving threat of the Coronavirus, declared a local emergency, March 23. The proclamation will allow the port district to seek assistance and resources from local, county, state and federal government agencies.

The port district will also be able to seek assistance from disaster relief organizations to compensate for or otherwise lessen the damages, hardships, losses or sufferings borne on the Port of San Diego due to Coronavirus.

“The [port district’s] executive director/Chief Executive Officer has found that existing and threatened conditions that cause extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have arisen within the district, caused by the novel COVID-19 virus,” port district staff said in a report to board members.

“The existing and threatened conditions are, or are likely to be, beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the district, and may require the supplemental efforts and available resources of other government entities, to include the state and/or federal government and/or disaster relief organizations to help alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering caused by the virus,” port district staff continued.

Board members also directed all public parks around San Diego Bay be closed. The closure includes beaches, boat launch ramps, parking lots and piers.

“Closed signs are being posted at port parks, parking lots, beaches and boat launches, and Port of San Diego Harbor Police will be working to educate the public about the closures and what is and isn’t allowed,” port district staff said in a released statement. “Public access walkways, sidewalks and promenades are open to allow exercise – walking, running and cycling – which is permitted under the State of California’s stay at home order, so long as a socially safe distance of six feet is maintained from people who aren’t part of the same household.”

Twenty parks and boat launch ramps will be affected by the port district’s closures (see sidebar).

Port district staff added the bayfront’s public restrooms will remain open. The restrooms will be maintained.

The port district’s main administration building at 3165 Pacific Highway (near Downtown San Diego) officially closed to the public on March 25. Anyone who has a question or request for the port district should reach out to its staff via email at customerservice@portofsandiego.org or by phone at 619-686-6200.

COVID-19 emergencies were also declared by the state of California, county of San Diego and the port district’s five member cities (San Diego, Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach and Coronado).

The port district has a website – portofsandiego.org/covod19 – providing regular updates of its response to the Coronavirus crisis, including steps individuals can take to minimize the spread and exposure of COVID-19.

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Parks and Launch Ramps Closed

Chula Vista Bayfront Park (including boat launch ramp)

Chula Vista Bayside Park (including beach and pier)

Chula Vista Marina View Park

Coronado Landing Park (including beach)

Coronado Tidelands Park (including beach)

Grand Caribe Shoreline Park

Dunes Park (including Imperial Beach Pier)

Portwood Pier Plaza

Pepper Park (including pier and boat launch ramp)

Broadway Plaza (including Broadway Pier)

Cesar Chavez Park (including pier)

Embarcadero Marina Park North

Embarcadero Marina Park South (including pier)

Harbor Island Park

Kellogg Beach

Ruocco Park

Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp

Shelter Island Shoreline Park

Spanish Landing Park (includes beach)

Tuna Harbor Park (permit stalls will remain open)