United States
May 6, 2022

Austal USA donates $250,000 to expand Port of San Diego's Pepper Park

National City, Calif. – Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh presented a check for $250,000 on May 5th to support the Pepper Park improvement project along the National City bayfront of San Diego Bay.  

Named after prominent National City businessman and civic leader Leonard Pepper, this 5-½ acre park in the Port of San Diego’s 60-acre National City Marina District adjoins the Sweetwater Channel and offers colorful play equipment, a convenient boat launching ramp, a fishing pier, and more. The Port of San Diego is redesigning the park to improve public access and recreation by potentially adding a splash pad, group picnic areas, playgrounds upgrades, and more.

“Austal USA is thrilled to contribute to this community improvement project,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said. “We are relatively new to the Port of San Diego waterfront, but we recognize that strong community partnerships are the key to success and we are excited to play such an important role in the future of Pepper Park.”

Accepting the check on behalf of Pepper Park was Port Commissioner, Sandy Naranjo and National City Mayor, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.

“Pepper Park is already a recreational gem on our San Diego Bay waterfront. Austal USA’s $250,000 gift, on top of what we’ve already budgeted for the redesign and enhancements, will truly help to make it sparkle,” said Commissioner Sandy Naranjo, Board of Port Commissioners. “Thank you to Austal USA and all in the community who are helping us transform Pepper Park into a resource that visitors and residents will cherish for years to come.”

Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis shared, “We look forward to growing the partnership with Austal USA through the Port of San Diego. We are excited that through the leadership of our National City Port Commissioner Sandy Naranjo this partnership includes a local hire requirement, environmental justice component, and a financial commitment to our National City Balanced Plan! This multifaceted effort demonstrates Austal USA’s long-term commitment to our City, Port and region for economic development and environmental justice. Bienvenidos.”

Austal USA recently secured long-term leases with the Port of San Diego and the U.S. Navy to establish a ship repair facility in National City. The agreement provides Austal USA waterfront property adjacent to Naval Base San Diego.  Austal USA’s 15-acre site will focus on ship repair for U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships.  The site will include a newly-built dry dock designed to efficiently dock small surface combatants and similar sized ships. 

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