SIU-contracted companies were among those recently recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard for environmental excellence.
The agency in late May announced the recipients of the 2012 Biennial Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Marine Environmental Protection Award for Excellence at the American Petroleum Institute Tanker Conference in Orlando, Fla. Winners in various categories included the Seafarers-contracted companies Matson Navigation; Maersk Line, Limited; and U.S. Shipping Corp.
According to the Coast Guard, the program “recognizes corporations and businesses involved in marine facility or vessel operations that have demonstrated sustained excellence and outstanding achievement in protecting the marine environment. It also encourages innovations in operations, maintenance, cargo handling, refueling, training, and provides a means for award recipients to share their successful methods and techniques with others in industry.”
Also in late May, SIU-contracted Crowley Maritime Corporation was chosen as a 2011 Company Award winner for the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program. The selection was based on Crowley’s 48 vessels providing 204,430 “highly accurate and timely weather observations for the U.S. VOS program in 2011,” according to the company. “Particularly impressive was Crowley’s St. Louis Express, a cargo vessel contributing 4,926 observations in 2011, ranking her the second-highest reporting vessel in the entire U.S. program.”
The VOS program, which was established in 1853, relies on volunteer crew members on nearly 1,000 ships around the world to monitor the weather at their locations and submit the observations to national meteorological services. This data is used to create marine weather forecasts and is archived for future use by climatologists and other scientists.
“Our vessels’ crew members have been contributing firsthand weather data to VOS for decades,” said Mike Golonka, general manager of Crowley’s ship management division.
“As a former volunteer on board our vessels, I am especially proud of Crowley’s history with the program. This company is committed to continuing to support it. We see the impact it has each day on our own vessel operations, and we are very appreciative of this recognition.”
“The invaluable efforts provided by the Crowley fleet of ships collecting and disseminating weather and oceanographic observations, during their voyages, is greatly appreciated by the VOS program,” said Helmut H. Portmann, director, National Data Buoy Center of the NOAA, in a letter to Crowley. “Your crews’ hard work and dedication has reflected great credit upon your company and the maritime community. Your contributions make a world of difference.”