Since 1973 AAPA has recognized activities which benefit the environment at its ports and presented environmental awards. The Association accepts awards from its port members and considers four project award categories: Environmental Enhancement, Mitigation, Stakeholder Awareness, Education & Involvement and Comprehensive Environmental Management. In addition to the four project awards given annually, AAPA periodically recognizes exceptional achievements with the Calvin Hurst Award for Outstanding Achievement. The awards program is administered by the Association's Environment Committee.
Examples of environmental enhancement include debris control and clean-up, port beautification, public access, uncompelled restoration of natural resources or creative solutions for handling ship-generated waste.
Mitigation of impacts associated with project development. Examples include wetlands restoration or creation, habitat creation such as artificial reefs, creative solutions for handling ship-generated wastes or any other mitigation measures undertaken in the course of project development and implementation.
Stakeholder Awareness, Education & Involvement involves outreach to stakeholders that seeks to inform, educate or facilitate involvement. Examples include programs to educate local school children about the port community or foster public involvement in port projects.
Comprehensive environmental management involves the development and execution of a comprehensive plan that seeks to minimize the environmental impact of, and where possible, enhance the environment through, port operations. Examples of such plans include establishment of port environmental policies, training and empowering port personnel in the use of pollution prevention practices, and working with tenants, environmental agencies and the public in promoting the goals of the plan.
Six general award criteria are used to evaluate the entries in the competition:
Level and nature of benefits to environmental quality, beautification or community involvement.
Level of independent involvement and effort by the port.
The creativity of the solution or program.
Whether the project results are apparent (the project must be complete through some beneficial increment).
The cost effectiveness of the activity or the program.
The transferability of the technology or idea to the port industry.
The Calvin Hurst Award for Outstanding Achievement is presented for exceptional projects. Because of the exemplary nature of its intended recipients, the Award is not necessarily presented every year. It is named for the late Calvin Hurst, the first port environmental professional who served a marine environmentalist at the Port of Los Angeles from 1972 to 1987.