Named after Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Award was created by the US Coast Guard to “recognize outstanding achievements in marine environmental protection that go beyond mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards.” The goal of the award is to create an “exchange of ideas and innovations to everyone's benefit.” and to “serves as a map for assessing environmental management strengths and weaknesses while stressing a continual improvement” (US Coast Guard).
According to the US Coast Guard, the 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 (ISO 14001).
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.
More information on the award, and specific requirements can be found here.