The Turning the Tide Awards will include three, separate awards; supported through a sponsorship program, but with the port authority in St. John's coming on as the first sponsor.
"As a working harbour for over 500 years, the St. John's port has been an integral part in the development and sustainability of the marine industry in this province," said Russ Carrigan, chairman of the port authority, in a statement.
He also spoke at the launch event, noting the authority's contribution to the awards this year will be $50,000.
The first of the three Turning the Tide awards will be for Operational Leadership Excellence, to go to a business addressing challenges within the marine industry head-on. The work might address environmental concerns, technological improvements, maritime safety and security, market development, education and human resources.
The second is an individual Lifetime Achievement Award.
The third is the Award of Historical Significance. This award will go to an individual, organization or even community that through a single act or collection of actions "turns the tide" of history, contributing to the fortunes of others in the marine industry (including but not limited to shipping, offshore oil industry services, defence and research and development work).
The first awards will be presented April 5.
The winners are to be selected by a selection board, chaired by Paul Antle.
Nominees for the first year of the awards are closed, with selection committee members, including representatives from the Marine Institute, putting forward names this time around.
Selection committee member Chris Collingwood said there will likely be two winners selected in each category this year, with the same when nominations are opened up for next year¹s awards.
The awards themselves do not come with any cash prize, he acknowledged, but a specially designed trophy will be presented.
Any funds raised from the award gala will go to the Home From the Sea Foundation in Elliston.
For more: turningthetideawards.ca