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Benkert Award

The Benkert Award was created to recognize outstanding achievements in marine environmental protection that go beyond mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards. It is intended to be a creative exchange of ideas and innovations to everyone's benefit. It serves as a map for assessing environmental management strengths and weaknesses while stressing a continual improvement.

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.

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 are eligible to become an award applicant. The award categories that define the qualification criteria are as follows:

Small Business

Vessel Operations Category

  • Have its headquarters based within the United States; and
  • Have fewer than 50 full-time employees at the applying location.

Facility Operations Category

  • Be geographically located within the United States;
  • Be a marine facility (ex. defined in 33 CFR 126 or 33 CFR 154, shipbuilding or directly involved with the movement of vessels); and
  • Have fewer than 50 full-time employees at the applying location.

Special Small Business

  • Be geographically located within the United States;
  • Be a 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; and
  • Have a maximum of 25 full-time employees.

Large Business

Vessel Operations Category

  • Headquarters based within the United States; and
  • Have a minimum of 50 full-time employees at the applying location.

Facility Operations Category

  • Be geographically located within the United States;
  • Be a marine facility (ex. defined in 33 CFR 126 or 33 CFR 154, shipbuilding or directly involved with the movement of vessels); and
  • Have a minimum of 50 full-time employees at the applying location.

Foreign Vessel Operations Category

  • Headquarters located anywhere in the world;
  • Vessels registered in a country other than the United States;
  • At least 25% of fleet called a U.S. port a least once during the award period; and
  • Have a minimum of 250 full-time employees, including vessel personnel.