Ocean Blog

UH Marine Center Honored for Protecting Ocean Resources

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Earlier this fall, Ross Barnes, marine operations superintendent at the University of Hawai’i (UH) Marine Center and the UH Marine Center team were honored as the 2018 Tenant Environmental Manager of the Year. Each year, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, Harbors Division, recognizes the tenant environmental manager who has implemented exemplary environmental and safety practices, and continued efforts to implement and maintain post-construction best management practices.

Ross Barnes holding the recognition plaque from the State of Hawai‘i. PC: UHMC

“This award acknowledges the continuous positive contributions that you and the University of Hawai‘i Marine Center have made toward protecting our valuable ocean resources,” stated Gov. David Ige in a congratulatory letter to Barnes. “The initiatives taken at your facility to include promoting proactive environmental awareness and reducing environmental risks as key components of the University of Hawai‘i Marine Center culture are truly noteworthy. Your program is a positive example for others to follow.”

“As a tenant of Honolulu Harbor and as members of our community we take great pride in protecting our waters and natural resources,” said Anita L. Lopez, director of research vessel operations at UH Marine Center, which is coordinated by the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. “By employing best management practices and working together along the waterfront we can minimize and eliminate pollutants that have the potential of entering our waters through stormwater runoff or vessel maintenance thereby harming our fragile ecosystem. Healthy harbors mean healthy oceans. We all depend on our waters for sustainment, commerce, recreation, and livelihoods. The team at University of Hawai’i Marine Center care deeply about their stewardship of the environment and have worked very hard to do their part daily in protecting these precious resources for future generations to come. I’m thrilled that Ross Barnes our Marine Superintendent and the rest of the team have been recognized for this award.”

“Being a part of the University of Hawai‘i and managing research vessels, protecting the environment is very important to me,” said Barnes, who has been with UH Marine Center for 39 years. “It is our goal here at the UH Marine Center to do the best we can to meet and exceed the requirements of protecting the waters of Honolulu Harbor. This recognition is significant because it helps show the UH Marine Center team that all their hard work does not go unnoticed. This recognition helps build pride in all that we do here to protect the environment.”


The UH Marine Center was selected from 55 tenant programs. Barnes accepted a plaque from the Governor’s office.

Gov. Ige, in the award letter, applauded the UH Marine Center’s “efforts as a leader in environmental compliance and the future of sustainability in Hawai‘i.”


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