Canaveral Port Authority Named Port Authority of Year by U.S. Coast Guard for Excellence in Maritime Security


Port Canaveral to receive prestigious 2020 Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis Award in recognition of the Port’s maritime security best practices in safeguarding the nation’s Marine Transportation System

6 ship photo at Port Canaveral Harbor
File photo of a 6-ship day at Port Canaveral
(Photo: Canaveral Port Authority)
Port Canaveral, FL – Nov. 25, 2020 – Port Canaveral has received the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2020 Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis Award for maritime security excellence The Port received notification of the award from Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard. Port Canaveral was selected as the national Port Authority recipient “for demonstrating the industry’s overall commitment to maritime security and safeguarding the nation’s vital Marine Transportation System.”
“This is an exceptional honor for our Port and outstanding recognition of our collective efforts to ensure the safety and security of our Port and extended community,” said Port CEO Capt. John Murray. “I am immensely proud of Barry Compagnoni, and the entire port safety and security team who are dedicated to our mission to protect our people and assets.”
In his letter to the Port, Admiral Schultz noted, “This year's field of candidates was extremely competitive, and Canaveral Port Authority's selection for this prestigious award is a testament to your organization's commitment and contributions to the security of our Nation's Marine Transportation System. Notably, your organization's active role in the Area Maritime Security Committee and frequent presentation of highly informative port security briefs was instrumental in ensuring cooperation and unity of effort in ensuring the region's maritime resiliency. Additionally, Captain Vlaun of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville speaks very complimentary of your organization's engagement with the Coast Guard and broader port community.”
The prestigious Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis Award is presented biennially by the Coast Guard to recognize outstanding maritime security achievements and contributions made by U.S. maritime organizations with regards to implementing the federal Maritime Transportation Security Act requirements and other best practices in safeguarding the nation’s Marine Transportation System.  Several applicants representing a wide range of maritime organizations and port authorities nationwide competed for selection in one of three categories – Port Authority, Large Facility, and Large Company.  The Coast Guard review committee evaluated all submissions in multiple categories, including “how the organization leads, develops, promotes and/or engages via maritime leadership and partnership activities to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness and share information with local, state, and federal agencies and other commercial entities.”
The Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis award honors the late Rear Admiral Bennis who began his career in 1972 as a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and served honorably in the Coast Guard for 30 years until his retirement in 2002. On September 11, 2001, while serving as Captain of the Port New York, Rear Admiral Bennis organized the extraordinary waterborne evacuation of nearly 500,000 people from lower Manhattan after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Port Canaveral is the first and only Florida port to receive the Bennis Award.  Past Port Authority recipients of the award include the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey in 2014.

About Port Canaveral 

Led by the elected five-member Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners and Port Director and CEO, Captain John Murray, Port Canaveral is one of the world's most dynamic and exciting ports. A world-class gateway for cruises, cargo, recreation and logistics, as well as a gateway to new frontiers in space, Port Canaveral has hosted nearly 5 million revenue cruise passengers through its state-of-the-art terminals and 6 million tons of cargo annually, including bulk, break-bulk, project, and containerized. The Port is strategically located to service all Florida markets, as well as the Southeastern United States. In addition to world class cruise facilities and diverse cargo operations, Port Canaveral offers more recreational opportunities than all other Florida deep-water seaports combined. For more information, visit