Skip to content

NAMEPA to Host 2020 RADM William M. Benkert Environmental Award Presentation

December 17, 2019 — The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), has announced that it will host the presentation of the 2020 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Award for Environmental Excellence. The awards will be presented during NAMEPA’s Safety at Sea National Maritime Day seminar and AMVER Awards Reception on May 21, 2020 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The William M. Benkert Award is the premier marine environmental protection award presented by the Coast Guard to members of the marine industry. The biennial award was created in 1995 to recognize outstanding achievements in marine environmental protection that go beyond mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards. The award objectives include:

• Improving the environmental performance and overall quality of marine transportation–related companies through a detailed self-assessment process against award standards.
• Encouraging the use of the international environmental management protocol developed by the International Standards Organization.
• Increasing public awareness of the importance of protecting the marine environment and delicate marine ecosystems.
• Providing a means for sharing with other marine enterprises successful methods and techniques used by the winners.

“For many, the Coast Guard’s Benkert Award is considered to be the highest recognition for environmental excellence”, observed Carleen Lyden Walker, Co-Founder/Executive Director for NAMEPA. “We are honored to be partnering with the Coast Guard to host this prestigious presentation.”

Eligible applicants for the Benkert Award include any marine transportation related commercial organization owning, operating, or otherwise managing vessels, designated waterfront facilities, fleeting areas, oil spill removal organizations, or other entity engaged in maritime operations subject to Coast Guard regulations. Applications are being submitted now through January 31, 2020. Award winners will be notified March 2020.

2018 Benkert Award Recipients included Polar Tankers, Inc., Houston, TX; Norwegian Cruise Lines, Miami, FL; Harley Marine Services, Spokane, WA; and Marathon Petroleum Company – Marine Services, Catlettsburg, KY.

The award criteria include several critical success factors such as environmental policies, objectives and targets, pollution prevention activity, safety management, outreach, partnership, and performance metrics. The award program has five levels of recognition, Osprey, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention, to acknowledge the applicant’s progress in pursuing environmental excellence. A committee reviews and scores award applications submitted biennially by maritime operators. For more information, go to

NAMEPA’s annual Safety at Sea Seminar and AMVER Reception is held on or near National Maritime Day to reflect on the role the maritime industry plays economically and globally by bringing industry and governmental leaders together to discuss concerns about safety, and strategies for meeting them in a rapidly changing shipping environment. In addition to the Benkert Awards presentation there will be a recognition for the participants of AMVER, honoring merchant ships that volunteer to be available for maritime emergency response.

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) was officially launched in 2007. NAMEPA is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. For more information, go to

Media inquiries: Michele Ferguson, +203 255 46868 or

Subscribe by Email

Want updates on how NAMEPA is protecting marine environments and how you can get involved? Subscribe by email and follow us on social media.

Help #SaveOurSeas

Every donation counts. Your tax-deductible donation will help us protect the marine environment, support the marine industry, and educate communities to Save Our Seas.


Join NAMEPA to help us advocate preserving the marine environment by promoting marine industry best practices.

Back To Top