Educators from Birch Aquarium and San Diego Unified Lead Pilot Program To Inform Design of Future Seaport Learning Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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With the backdrop of the Downtown San Diego site for the proposed Seaport San Diego project, students from Pacific Beach Middle School gather plankton samples for analysis. Photo Credit: Seaport Climate Science Program
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (April 6, 2023) – Today local leaders had an exclusive opportunity to tour the Seaport Climate Science Program. The one-of-a-kind program is a partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego. The pilot program was established as a proof-of-concept to inform the design of the future permanent facility at Seaport San Diego.
During the tour, Port of San Diego Vice Chair Sandy Naranjo, San Diego Unified Trustee Richard Barrera and other leaders learned more about the Seaport Climate Science Program, which engages middle school students in hands-on, climate science-focused field trips. Approximately 70 seventh-grade students from Pacific Beach Middle School participated in the tour, rotating among STEM learning stations aboard a research-equipped vessel that launched from Pepper Park in National City.
Local leaders had a special opportunity to learn about the Seaport Climate Science Program on April 6, 2023, observing students as they rotated among hands-on STEM learning stations in Pepper Park, National City.
“Seaport San Diego is a proposal to revitalize an important part of the San Diego Bayfront thoughtfully and boldly for the next century, and the Learning Center is a cornerstone of our vision for connecting students and adult learners throughout California with the ocean in a meaningful way,” said Seaport San Diego developer Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, CEO of 1HWY1. “We are honored to have the partnership of San Diego Unified School District and Birch Aquarium at Scripps as we embark on the design of our Learning Center. I’m delighted to see how the Seaport Climate Science Program is already inspiring young minds and look forward to having a permanent center for ocean-centered learning at Seaport San Diego.”
A conceptual rendering of Seaport San Diego. Credit: Seaport San Diego/Master architect CallisonRTKL Inc.
Guided by educators from Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the students dissected lancetfish stomachs and examined the contents for clues about the ocean ecosystem. They used echosounder technology to monitor fish populations, gathered ocean water samples for testing and examined plankton under a microscope — all activities that take place as part of Seaport Climate Science Program field trips.
The Seaport Climate Science Program “is allowing kids from all over the district to be able to come and explore the ocean,” said Pacific Beach Middle School student Collin Scott, 13. “Some kids have dreams about being scientists and I think this could definitely help them. You get to learn about the environment, fish and animals, water temperature – all the stuff out here in the Bay.”
The lesson plans for the Seaport Climate Science Program are based on the research and education being conducted at Birch Aquarium. “The partnership between the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego Unified and Seaport San Diego allows us to introduce a new generation of students to ocean research and the methods by which researchers evaluate the health of our oceans,” said Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego. “The Seaport Climate Science Program is a shining example of a public-private partnership that benefits youth in a unique and meaningful way while contributing to our understanding of best practices in climate science education.”
The Seaport Climate Science Program is aligned with curriculum standards for STEM education.
“It is increasingly important that our students are equipped to become good stewards of the environment. Through this collaboration, students will have the opportunity to thrive as they engage in hands-on, climate and marine-science focused learning experiences,” said San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson. “This is so important in San Diego because the ocean is connected to our environment, our lives, our culture, and is an essential resource for current and future jobs.”
The Seaport Climate Science Program, now in its second year, will have served more than 1,000 students from San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union High School District by the end of April 2023.
About the Seaport Climate Science Program
The Seaport Climate Science Program is a pilot program that demonstrates the partnership between Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, San Diego Unified School District and Seaport San Diego. The program is a proof-of-concept for the future Seaport San Diego Learning Center within the Port of San Diego, which will be a resource for San Diego Unified and other schools throughout California, and will be operated by Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The Seaport Climate Science Program seeks to engage middle school students in hands-on, climate science-focused field trip experiences in a way that informs the future permanent facility at Seaport San Diego. Students experience curriculum-aligned, STEM learning onboard a research-equipped vessel operated by Pacific Maritime. Between 2022 and 2023, approximately 1,000 students will have participated in the pilot program.
For Immediate Release
Award Follows the Recent Unanimous Vote by the Board of Port Commissioners to Move Seaport San Diego into the Environmental Review Phase
MEDIA CONTACT: Tanya Castaneda | 619.764.9874 | email@example.com
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (Dec. 8, 2022) – Seaport San Diego has been honored with a prestigious design award, the latest milestone for this transformative redevelopment proposed for the Downtown San Diego waterfront within the Port of San Diego. The $3.6 billion project is currently preparing to enter the environmental review process, a critical step for any large development. Now, the project team has been presented with the 2022 ICSC GOLD Award for Evolving Innovation and Aspiration in the New Developments category. ICSC highlighted Seaport San Diego’s design for dramatically increasing coastal access, recreational space, activities and water views of San Diego Bay while providing improved commercial fishing facilities and creating unique features including an iconic observation Tower, Aquarium, Learning Center and Blue Tech Innovation Center.
As the member organization for industry advancement, ICSC promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather as foundational and vital ingredients of communities and economies. Its Global Design & Development Awards Program recognizes outstanding achievements in design and development of marketplaces properties and retail store design. This year’s winners were announced at the annual ceremony Dec. 1, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. “This design provides contemporary experiences designed to prioritize accessible waterfront recreation with 16-plus acres of open space,” ICSC stated in the video accompanying the award presentation.
Master architect James Mellor, AIA, NCARB, Principal of CallisonRTKL Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the project team.
“Seaport is really a love letter for San Diego – a once-in-a-lifetime project – and we are grateful to ICSC for recognizing the passion and quality of this innovative design in enhancing public access and economic development for this cherished site,” Mellor said. “We have had tremendous momentum this year and we are excited about where it’s going as we advance this truly world-class waterfront for our beautiful San Diego Bay.”
The Seaport San Diego developer is the 1HWY1 Partnership, made up of Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Jeff Jacobs and Jeffrey Essakow.
“Seaport San Diego is more than just an urban redevelopment project – it’s the expression of our hopes and dreams for future generations and our passion for being a good steward of the ocean and the planet,” said Gaffen, 1HWY1’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our process has been progressive, with community input shaping every part of the design. We are humbled to receive the ICSC GOLD Award and hope to serve as a model for other developments that put the community first.”
With strong public support, Seaport San Diego is endorsed by hundreds of San Diego residents and organizations including the Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego County Building & Construction Trades Council, UNITE-HERE, San Diego Airport Authority, San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional EDC, TMA BlueTech and YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County, among many others.
1HWY1 was selected by the Port of San Diego for its Seaport San Diego concept after a competitive process in 2016 in which developers submitted ideas for the land and water area known as the Central Embarcadero. This area includes Seaport Village, Santa Monica Seafood (formerly Chesapeake Fish), and surrounding areas between the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the USS Midway Museum, with some exclusions. The Port initiated the redevelopment to create more public space on the water, extend streets to the water, preserve and enhance view corridors and facilitate the enjoyment of the bay.
The project team spent years refining its proposed project in response to Board and stakeholder feedback, due diligence findings, and input from prospective partners. The Port held four public meetings to consider Seaport San Diego in 2022, a year of great momentum.
A major milestone took place on November 8, 2022; the Board of Port Commissioners unanimously voted to move the project into the California Environmental Quality Act review process. Environmental review is expected to take at least two years, after which the project may be considered for approval. Based on meeting all milestones, 1HWY1 projects that a groundbreaking could take place in 2025.
ABOUT SEAPORT SAN DIEGO:
Seaport San Diego is a proposal by 1HWY1 to revitalize a key section of the San Diego Bayfront thoughtfully and boldly for the next century of San Diego visitors and residents. The project would bolster access, use, and enjoyment of the waterfront for all. The proposal includes significant recreational open space, including parks and landscaping, recreation areas, a public promenade, walkways and walking paths, public piers and a new public urban beach; an activated observation Tower, which will serve as an iconic and engaging attraction complete with restaurants, observation decks, and gathering spaces for all to celebrate the San Diego waterfront; a new living shoreline area with constructed artificial wetlands and tidepools; a Blue Campus featuring an Aquarium, Learning Center and Blue Tech Innovation Center; a unique variety of experiential retail, restaurants as well as health and wellness offerings; multiple hospitality options comprised of lodging suitable for all income levels to create 24/7 activity, along with convention and meeting space. Key elements include a revitalized commercial fishing harbor, fish processing facility and elevated deck for public viewing at the historic Tuna Harbor site; a vibrant event center for hosting concerts, live events and other amenities; and unparalleled public water access including public access piers, marinas, and day use docks and slips. For more information, please visit seaportsandiegoca.com.