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The Port's Green Flag Program is a voluntary vessel speed reduction program that rewards vessel operators for slowing down to 12 knots or less within 40 nautical miles (nm) of Point Fermin (near the entrance to the Harbor). Because the ships emit less when they travel more slowly, the program has been highly successful in reducing smog-forming emissions and diesel particulates from ships. In 2009, more than 90 percent of vessels participated in the program, slowing their ships in the 20 nm zone, while more than 70 percent slowed down within the 40 nm zone.
In return for their participation -- at least 90 percent of the time in a calendar year -- the vessel operators can earn dockage rate reductions, as well as help improve air quality in the greater Long Beach area.
Vessels that dock at the Port of Long Beach can also earn the coveted Green Flag environmental achievement award for extraordinary compliance with the program for a 12-month period.
The speed of every vessel in the speed reduction zone is measured and recorded by the Marine Exchange of Southern California. The program prevents more than 1,000 tons a year of air pollution. For more information, see the Fact Sheet.