- Domestic Vessels

6/26/2014: Vice Comdt. presents the 2014 William M. Benkert Award at API Conference

Wednesday, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, presented the 2014 Rear Adm. William Benkert Awards at the American Petroleum Institute’s annual tanker conference. The award is given to support and recognize maritime industry efforts for their environmental protection programs.

Rear Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, presents the Osprey Award to Polar Tankers Inc.(photo by Ross Kyker)

Rear Adm. Peter Neffenger, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, presents the Osprey Award to Polar Tankers Inc.(Courtesy photo by Ross Kyker)

The William M. Benkert Award Program honors great industry leaders in the field of marine safety and environmental protection and provides an opportunity for the Coast Guard to recognize leadership, innovation and creativity found amongst those members of the maritime industry. This biennial award was started in 1995 and is the premier environmental protection award presented by the Coast Guard to members of marine industry. It was designed to distinguish outstanding achievements, extending beyond compliance with industry and regulatory standards.

The award’s namesake, Rear Adm. William “Mike” Benkert, was considered by many to be the father of the marine safety and environmental protection mission. As such, he contributed a great deal to the Coast Guard and the maritime environment. His achievements include initiating many of the programs stemming from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 and playing a key role in the development of MARPOL 73, SOLAS 74 and STCW 78.

Prior to presenting the awards at the 2014 ceremony, Vice Adm. Neffenger highlighted the Coast Guard’s appreciation to all the award winners for their commitment toward ensuring a clean and safe marine operating environment.

“From the Osprey Award winner to the honorable mentions, I applaud your outstanding achievements that extend far beyond mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards. More than just a symbol of excellence, your accomplishments provide an avenue for creative exchanges of ideas and innovations that benefit both the industry and the public,” said Neffenger.

For the 2014 award cycle, eight companies earned formal recognition.

Here is the complete list of this year’s award winners:

Osprey: Polar Tankers Inc.

Silver: AEP River Operation, Kirby Inland Marine, Marathon Petroleum Company, Norwegian Cruise Lines

Bronze: Alaska Clean Seas

Honorable mention: SGS Petroleum Service Corporation, Maersk Line Limited

Maritime Commons would like to congratulate all of this year’s award recipients. Job well done, or as we like to say in the maritime services… Bravo Zulu!

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.