American Association of Port Authorities Presents Port of Stockton with Two 2017 Environmental Improvement Awards

AAPA Honors two Environmental Improvement Awards

Antioch Dunes Restoration Video Still

Port of Stockton Wins Top AAPA Honors for Environment Improvement for Antioch Dunes Restoration and Education/Awareness for Its Barn Owl Nest Box Program

STOCKTON, Calif. (September 5, 2017) – The Port of Stockton has received two 2017 Environmental Enhancement Awards from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). The Port received the 2017 Environmental Enhancement Award for its work on the Antioch Dunes Restoration Project, and it received the 2017 Stakeholder Education, Awareness and Involvement Award for its Barn Owl Nest Boxes program. The 2017 Environmental Improvement Awards will be formally presented at the AAPA Awards Luncheon to be held October 4 in Long Beach, California.

The Antioch Dunes Restoration Project is a joint initiative between the Port of Stockton and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. The project was established in 1980 specifically to preserve the Contra Costa Wallflower, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose, and Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, all of which are classified as endangered species. The Antioch Dunes are at the junction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, which is the major shipping channel for the Port of Stockton. Over time, the large sand dunes that formed the unique Antioch Dunes habitat disappeared as sand was removed for construction materials and other uses, so the Restoration Project was initiated to restore the dunes.

The Port of Stockton has been working with the Army Corps of Engineers to repurpose sediment removed from the San Joaquin River bed to restore the dunes. Every year, the Port of Stockton has to dredge the channel to accommodate shipping. That dredged sand is ideal for restoring the Antioch Dunes so dredged material is being used to rebuild the sand dunes along the San Joaquin River.

“When we realized that the Fish and Wildlife Service needed sand at Antioch Dunes, it made perfect sense to pump the sand from the river bed to restore the dunes,” said Richard Aschieris, Port Director of the Port of Stockton. “We see this program as just one way we can support the environment and our community, and receiving this year’s Environmental Enhancement Award from the AAPA is an added bonus.”

AAPA Honors for Environment Barn Owl Nest Box Video - Film Still

Barn Owl Nest Box Video Still

The Port of Stockton’s entry for its Barn Owl Nest Box Program also received the highest score from the AAPA judges for the Stakeholder Education, Awareness, and Involvement Award. Since 2006, the Port of Stockton has erected 16 owl nest boxes around the Port to help increase the barn owl population. Barn owls are an important element of the region’s ecosystem since the owls control the rodent population, which reduces the use of pesticides and protects the levees from erosion due to burrowing. The nest box program also fosters community interaction. The boxes are equipped with cameras so the public can monitor the owls via the Port of Stockton website.

“We had 40,000 hits from visitors watching our owl boxes last year,” said Jeffrey Wingfield, Environmental and Public Affairs Director for the Port of Stockton. “By installing owl boxes we have substantially increased the barn owl population to help with rodent ands pest control. We also received a huge response from the public, which has really increased awareness for the role the Port plays in maintaining the Delta’s ecosystem.”

A representative from the Port of Stockton will make a presentation on the Barn Owl Next Box Program as part of a best practices panel at the AAPA Convention.

For more information about the 2017 AAPA Environmental Improvement Awards visit www.aapa-ports.org.


About the Port of Stockton
Located in California’s fertile Central Valley, the Port of Stockton is the premier bulk/break-bulk port in California, supporting more than 5,500 family-wage jobs in the greater Stockton/San Joaquin County region. Situated on a deep-water shipping channel, with over 7 million square feet of warehouse space, at the hub of four major freeways and served by two Class I railroads, the Port of Stockton is strategically located to provide efficient goods movement throughout the Western United States.

To learn more about The Port of Stockton, visit www.portofstockton.com.



Jeff Wingfield
Director of Environmental and Public Affairs
Port of Stockton
(209) 946-0246


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