The Port of Long Beach is a public agency managed and operated by the City of Long Beach Harbor Department. The Port is governed by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, whose five members are appointed by the mayor of Long Beach and confirmed by the City Council. The Board creates policies and appoints the Port Executive Director, the top official at the 400-employee Harbor Department. Harbor Commission members can serve a maximum of two six-year terms.
Port lands are owned by the City of Long Beach in trust for the people of the State of California and cannot be sold to any private enterprises. In 1911, the California Legislature approved a Tidelands grant, giving the City of Long Beach the right to manage and develop the Harbor District for the sole purposes of commerce, navigation, fisheries and recreation. The City Charter created the Long Beach Harbor Department to promote and develop the Port.