(DALLAS) — The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) Group will receive a second place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business and Industry Category. The awards ceremony will be held on July 30 at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“The Gulf of Mexico is a precious natural resource not only to the communities that thrive on its shores but to communities far away that rely on its bounty,” said Ron Curry, EPA regional administrator. “Gulf Guardians play an important role in reminding all of us about our shared responsibility in protecting our Gulf.”
“This is the 13th year if the Gulf Guardian Awards Program, and I am proud to say that each year the winners in all categories have represented the very best of environmental accomplishments in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Diane Altsman, chief of staff of the Gulf of Mexico Program. “The Gulf of Mexico Program partnership works to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, and the Gulf Guardian Awards is an important way for us to recognize these valuable efforts.”
The Coastal and Marine Operators Group educates mariners in the Gulf of Mexico about working safely around energy infrastructure to prevent oil spills. Through grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Coastal and Marine Operators Group is using technology called geofencing to prevent oil spills. The system works to monitor activity near pipelines and warn vessels against dropping anchor and potentially striking a pipeline and causing a spill.
The Coastal and Marine Operators Group worked with the Greater Lafourche Port Commission to produce and distribute training materials to over 1,000 vessels working in the Gulf of Mexico. Mariners are not only trained to prevent incidents from occurring, but also how to respond in the event an interaction is suspected. This system can be implemented on any commercial waterway. Training materials can be modified, and have already been adapted by the Port of South Louisiana for spill prevention on the Mississippi River.
The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.
For more information about EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program, visit www.epa.gov/gmpo.