Port tenants rebrand
A marina in National City, part of the Port of San Diego waterfront. Photo credit: Screen shot, nationalcityca.gov

The nonprofit organization representing businesses that operate on local port tidelands has embraced a new name – the San Diego Working Waterfront.

The organization, formerly known as the San Diego Port Tenants Association, includes companies in San Diego, along with Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City.

The group represents 800 waterfront businesses that employ 44,000 workers.

Port of San Diego commissioners Rafael Castellanos and Frank Urtasun joined waterfront employees and council members from port cities as more than 200 people celebrated the re-branding at the Bali Hai restaurant Thursday.

After 35 years using the old name, officials said the new moniker and logo honor the organization’s roots while the group continues its work to ensure that members have a voice in the port’s future.

“This is about redoubling our efforts to advocate for the economic and environmental vitality of the port tidelands,” said Sharon Bernie-Cloward, president of the San Diego Working Waterfront.

The San Diego Working Waterfront continues to represent industries and businesses including manufacturing, ship building and repair, shipping, cargo and trade, marinas, commercial and sport fishing, energy, cruise ships, hospitality and recreation, tourism and more.

“The businesses and workers on our waterfront are essential to the success of our port. The San Diego Working Waterfront’s education and advocacy efforts are crucial, and we consider them to be our partners,” said Dan Malcolm, chair of the Port board. “This repositioning will give businesses and workers a louder voice within the debate of public policy.”

The group’s goals are to protect local bayfront and maritime jobs, preserve the waterfront as an economic force that can compete with rival ports, represent the San Diego region to tourists and trading partners, and support the businesses that have served local communities, sometimes for generations.

“San Diego has changed a lot in 35 years but what’s remained the same is how important our working waterfront is to our economy and quality of life,” said John Laun, the group’s board chair. “We want San Diegans to know that our waterfront provides enormous opportunities for thousands of our neighbors, and we look forward to working with the port district to help these good-paying jobs thrive.”

The nonprofit went through a months-long effort to evaluate and update its strategic positioning, which includes new social media accounts.

Businesses within the port district generate approximately $8.3 billion in regional economic impact, according to a 2015 analysis.