Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Port of Los Angeles director lauded with conservation award

Cargo cranes at the Port of Los Angeles.
Cargo cranes at the Port of Los Angeles.
madlyinlovewithlife (away for a bit...)/Flickr

It has been announced that Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, is among the 2012 recipients of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards, specifically for “Excellence in Solutions.” The awards “celebrate outstanding achievements that lead to the protection of our coasts, oceans, and the communities that depend on them.” The Blue Frontier Campaign, a marine conservation group that works for the betterment of America’s coasts, presents the annual accolades.

The awards are named after the late author and famed conservationist Benchley, famous for penning such 1970s best-selling books as “Jaws” and “The Deep.” Knatz was chosen to receive the "Excellence in Solutions" award for her continued dedication to improving environmental efforts since being named Executive Director of the port in 2006.

“Dr. Knatz has been the driving force behind the clean air action plan at the port, and the results have been outstanding,” said Port of Los Angeles spokesperson Phillip Sanfield by telephone. “Over the last five years, we’ve reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than half. Diesel particulate matter has been reduced by more than 65 percent. The positive strides made at the Port of Los Angeles under of Dr. Knatz’s direction are a real success story.”

Knatz was also recognized for her role serving as president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors, where she has become a leader in the worldwide greening ports movement.

“I am honored to receive the Peter Benchley award,” said Dr. Knatz in a press release. “It’s exciting and rewarding to see how the work we’ve done at the Port of Los Angeles impacts other ports worldwide and spurs change in our industry.”

Among the other 2012 recipients include a posthumous award for Peter Douglas, the creator and longtime Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. His memory will be honored with the “Hero of the Seas” award for “assuring public access to and protection of California’s coastline.”