PORT OF LOS ANGELES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GERALDINE KNATZ RECEIVES PETER BENCHLEY ‘EXCELLENCE IN SOLUTIONS’ OCEAN CONSERVATION AWARD
Credited for Transforming the Port of Los Angeles into ‘America’s Greenest Port’
SAN PEDRO, Calif. — May 31, 2012 — Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., has been named the 2012 recipient of the Blue Frontier Campaign’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award for “Excellence in Solutions.” The Blue Frontier Campaign is a national marine conservation activist organization working to improve ocean policies in coastal states. The Peter Benchley Award is named in honor of lifetime marine wildlife conservationist Peter Benchley, best known for writing the bestseller novel ‘Jaws’ in 1974.
Dr. Knatz was recognized for her environmental efforts as executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in the nation, and her role as president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), where she has become a global leader in the Greening Ports movement. She will receive her award at a ceremony Friday night in San Francisco.
“Combining her savvy as a long time port official and her knowledge as a marine biologist and environmental engineer, Dr. Knatz has transformed ‘America’s Port®,’ at Los Angeles into ‘America’s Greenest Port,’” said David Helvarg, co-founder and executive director of the Blue Frontier Campaign. “Through collaboration with the neighboring Port of Long Beach, she has led successful efforts to clean the air and water, demonstrating the link between environmental clean-up and economic prosperity.”
“I am honored to receive the Peter Benchley award,” said Dr. Knatz. “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.” Dr. Knatz noted that inaugural 2004 Peter Benchley Award winner Dery Bennett hired Dr. Knatz in 1973 to do environmental water sampling in New Jersey, her first professional position.
The fifth annual Peter Benchley Ocean Awards acknowledge the broad range of achievement in the ocean and coastal community, providing a way to celebrate outstanding achievements that lead to the protection of our coasts, oceans, and the communities that depend on them.
Other 2012 award winners include U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for advocating for ocean protection in the United States Senate; Google for making ocean exploration possible via “Google Earth” and Dr. Nancy Rabalais, Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, for identifying the Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” and working to reduce its upstream causes. A posthumous award will be given to Peter Douglas, the creator and longtime Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission. Douglas, who passed away in April, will be honored with the “Hero of the Seas” award for assuring public access to and protection of California’s 1,100 miles of coastline.
In January 2006, Dr. Knatz became the first female executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. Moving the Port forward with an agenda that focuses on responsible Port growth and environmental leadership is an aggressive goal that Dr. Knatz has tackled from day one. Accommodating the Port’s future growth involves reducing air emissions, eliminating health risks and expanding capital development programs, all top priorities of the Port under her leadership.
After graduating from Rutgers University with an undergraduate degree in zoology, Dr. Knatz attended the University of Southern California, where she earned two degrees (a doctorate in biological science and a Master of Science in environmental engineering) and has taught Civil Engineering courses. Included in Los Angeles magazine’s “Power List” of L.A. influentials, Dr. Knatz began a two-year term in May 2011 as the President of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) and was the 2008-2009 Chair of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). Born and raised in New Jersey, she resides in Long Beach with her husband and two sons.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port supports more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.
The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.