January 25, 2024 — Following the resignation of Commissioner Rafael Castellanos from the Port of San Diego Board, Chairman Frank Urtasun issued remarks: “Rafael Castellanos is an exemplary leader and community champion, and he has been an excellent Port commissioner. His 11 years of service to the Port of San Diego have been full of progress and achievements. It has been a sincere honor to serve alongside him. It saddens me to see him go. On behalf of the Board of Port Commissioners, farewell and following seas to you, Rafa. We wish all the best for you and your family.”
Rafael Castellanos’ notable achievements during his 11 years of service as a Port of San Diego commissioner include:
- Applied his real estate law expertise to the pre-development and approval of Port real estate projects, including the $1.3 billion Gaylord Pacific resort hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront and the San Diego Symphony’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
- Helped lead the Port’s Blue Economy Incubator and establish San Diego Bay as the Blue Tech Bay. The Blue Economy Incubator is accelerating the development of ocean dependent industry and job creation through the performance of blue technology and aquaculture demonstration projects in San Diego Bay.
- Helped lead the Port’s modernization and electrification efforts, which have already delivered over $60 million of maritime cargo handling and cruise vessel electrification improvements to the Port, including the first fully electric mobile harbor crane system in North America.
- Helped lead efforts to stop the flow of sewage polluting our beaches and rivers in the Tijuana River Valley. In 2022, long-running lawsuits by the Port, San Diego, Imperial Beach, Chula Vista, the State Lands Commission, and the Surfrider Foundation were settled and resulted in an agreement to mitigate sewage and toxic chemical flows.
- Helped lead labor peace policy efforts to optimize development and operations.
- Served as chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners in 2018 and 2023.
- Chaired the Port’s Environmental Advisory Committee since 2014.
- Served as the Port’s representative to the Barrio Logan Planning Group since 2014.