Sacramento, CA – The State Lands Commission voted to approve the San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership Preliminary Assessment Report at its meeting yesterday in San Diego. The Commission also directed staff to develop an early engagement framework for stakeholders, users of ocean space, and potential applicants, using a web mapping application.
The San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership is a collaborative pilot project between the State Lands Commission and the Port of San Diego. In the first phase—known as the Preliminary Assessment phase – the Commission and Port engaged with stakeholders and collected feedback to understand the ocean space offshore San Diego County better. The Commission and Port staff activated a robust public engagement campaign, hearing from stakeholders about how they use the ocean space, challenges with those uses, previous experiences and concerns with ocean planning and similar planning processes, and suggestions on ways to manage this process. This feedback was used to complete the Preliminary Assessment Report that the Commission approved yesterday.
“The Commission is proud of its collaboration with the Port of San Diego on this truly forward-thinking pilot project that approaches planning from the perspectives of diverse stakeholders,” said State Controller and Commission Chair Betty Yee. “The San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership is building the foundation for robust communication and coordination while incorporating the best available science and data to glean more informed resource management decisions.”
The Preliminary Assessment Report summarizes stakeholder input, provides background on the partnership and the partner agencies and explains the approach to the Preliminary Assessment phase. It also identifies potential next steps for moving forward based on input provided and data collected.
“The San Diego Ocean Planning Partnership represents a unique and innovative approach for the State Lands Commission and the Port of San Diego to strengthen our own relationship and to build relationships with the San Diego ocean community,” said Rafael Castellanos, Chair of the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “My theme for my chairmanship is ‘Ocean Optimism,’ and this partnership embodies that theme through meaningful collaboration and thoughtful visioning for one of our most important resources – the ocean.”
The Preliminary Assessment Report will guide the next steps of the San Diego Ocean Planning Project, which include continued public engagement and refinement of the web mapping application. Next steps also include periodic assessments to update information about the ocean space, updating the goals of the Partnership to reflect stakeholder input, and developing an early engagement framework to improve coordination with ocean and coastal resource management agencies, the public, stakeholders, and applicants. The early engagement framework is expected to help address conflicts at the outset of a proposal or application, and provide a process for more comprehensive analysis, resulting in more informed decisions.
The Preliminary Assessment Report is available here: https://www.sdoceanplanning.org/preliminary-assessment-report/.