Imperial Beach Pier to Undergo Further Enhancement

Jan 04, 2023

The Port of San Diego, City of Imperial Beach, and community members are kicking off Phase 2 of the Imperial Beach Pier Enhancements project. Adding to improvements completed in 2021, the second phase includes a new shade canopy with a shark and water design over the mid-pier extension, new activity placards, and more. The goal is to beautify and activate the iconic IB Pier to enhance the public’s fishing, surfing, and viewing experience.

“As the most southwesterly pier in the continental U.S., the IB Pier is a widely recognized landmark and regional attraction for surfing, fishing, sunset and ocean gazers, and more,” said Port of San Diego Chairman Dan Malcolm, Board of Port Commissioners. “For us locals, it’s part of our community, cultural identity, and economic vitality. With these enhancements and more to come, the Port and the City hope to highlight all there is to see, do and experience on and around the pier.”

“It was an honor to help Port Chair Dan Malcolm and Mayor-Elect Paloma Aguirre launch the new phase of the Imperial Beach Pier revitalization program that will continue to help make our iconic pier a cherished family destination and recreational hotspot for everyone,” said Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina.

“I’m so excited about these new improvements to our iconic IB Pier! I think they reflect our town’s character and vibe: its marine-life themes, surfer references, and positive messaging will give anyone who walks it an incredibly memorable experience,” said Imperial Beach Mayor-Elect Paloma Aguirre. “I’m thankful to Chair Malcolm and outgoing Mayor Dedina for all their work to make these amazing upgrades happen.”

The Imperial Beach Pier is a key part of the city’s downtown and is an economic driver.  The goal of these enhancements is to encourage people to come explore and enjoy the pier, experience its ocean and fresh air amenities, sights, and pleasures, and partake of the many services and offerings of the nearby oceanfront restaurants and businesses.

Phase 2 improvements include:

  • A new artistic shade canopy in a shark and water design over the pier extension at mid-pier just across from the public restrooms.
  • Replacing the existing wood railing around the mid-pier extension as well as around the old boat loading ramp area near the Tin Fish Restaurant with stainless steel cable railing for improved ocean and beach views.
  • Installing 59 new artistically designed activity placards along the pier railings. These will display different fun sayings or slogans associated with types of activities to be enjoyed on or near the pier – fishing, surfing, lounging, and beaching.
 Examples include:
  • Good Things Come to Those Who Bait
  • Enjoy Life One Wave at a Time
  • Life at Ease with an Ocean Breeze
  • High Tides and Good Vibes
  • Placing a historical marker or plaque near the Tin Fish Restaurant that tells the story of the IB Pier with vintage photographs, words, and graphics.
  • Adding distance markers every 250 feet to mark the distance to the end of the pier and encourage guests to walk the entire length of the nearly 1,500-foot pier.
  • Placing surf destination arrows on the railing at the end of the pier marking the distance and direction to legendary surf spots Mavericks and the Banzai Pipeline.

Future improvements being considered include additional deck extensions with modern cable railings and a shade canopy over the sandy beach area.

The IB Pier already looks more refreshed and welcoming thanks to enhancements completed in 2021, including:

  • New paint in brighter colors on the railings and the pier’s three structures – the Tin Fish Restaurant, the Lifeguard Tower, and the public restrooms. The light and bold blues were chosen to reflect the city’s unique Southern California vibe.
  • Destination-themed murals and graphics on each of the structures that reflect Imperial Beach as an iconic destination and celebrate the pier as being located at the most southwesterly point of the Continental United States.
  • 30 new stainless steel fishing rod holders, custom-designed and tested by local fishermen before installation.
  • Repairs and cleaning of the pier’s three structures.