(WESTON, Conn.) — The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) presented its Marine Environment Protection Awards for 2020 on Nov. 5 to senior leadership of the recipients. Winners were MSC Cruises, Port Everglades, the International Chamber of Shipping for its seafarer welfare work, Matson for environmental innovation, Ocean Ventures Institute, SEA Education, the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and Liz Burdock of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.
NAMEPA’s Marine Environment Protection Awards are given in recognition of an individual or organization’s innovative and extraordinary effort to commit themselves to preserving the marine environment, as exemplified by a commitment to programs that have specific objectives set for environmental performance and improvement. The categories were Non-Profit, Education, Environmental, Government Agency, Individual, Industry, Port, and Seafarer Welfare.
“Seafarers have really been the heroes of global trade,” said Guy Platten, receiving the Seafarer Welfare Award on the behalf of the International Chamber of Shipping.
The award recipients spoke on making tangible strides in meeting sustainable goals and protecting the marine environment, from creating innovative technology to implementing forward-thinking reductions to extraordinary efforts to reduce plastic and offshore waste.
“Ocean cleanup is really hard work that is made possible thanks to the crew,” said Mary Crowley, founder of Ocean Voyages Institute and winner of the Non-Profit Award. “It’s joyful work once you remove trash that isn’t supposed to be there – you realize how valuable this work is.”
Burdock, winner of the Individual Award, stated that creating a new, cleaner and more sustainable industry can be frustrating but also rewarding. Other recipients echoed that sentiment as they stated that though challenges lie ahead for the industry, they can meet them if they are willing to be open to innovation and collaboration.
“We can do well and do good at the same time,” Burdock said upon receiving her award.
“We are so proud of the work that our recipients are doing and the incredible things they have accomplished,” said Carleen Lyden Walker, co-founder and executive director of NAMEPA. “The marine industry works tirelessly to deliver more than 90 percent of the world’s goods and energy safely and with a keen eye to reducing its environmental impact. It is NAMEPA’s mission to provide a forum for this discussion and an honor to highlight their efforts, along with community partners who share our values to save our seas.”
The award winners each will receive framed certificates and a desk trophy.
NAMEPA was officially launched in 2007. It 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.