Port of Long Beach employees are mourning the loss of a former colleague, Rick Cameron, who helped lead efforts to reduce the port’s impact on the environment before he resigned his post in March.

Cameron worked at the port for 24 years and last held the position of deputy executive director of planning and development, according to a March 24 statement the port issued about him departing “to pursue the next phase of his career.”

A former colleague posted on Facebook about Cameron’s death on Tuesday, and port officials confirmed it Wednesday but did not provide any information about the circumstances or how he died. He was 51.

“We are saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Rick Cameron, our former Deputy Executive Director of Planning and Development at the Port of Long Beach. Along with Rick’s many friends, contacts and colleagues throughout the logistics industry and environmental community, we here at the Port will miss Rick’s warmth, intellect and sense of dedication,” port Executive Director Mario Cordero said in a statement.

“He was a leader and respected for his expertise in environmentally sustainable development. His legacy carries on in the Port’s achievements in delivering on its lasting commitment to being the Green Port, and also in the many Port teammates and leaders whom he trained and mentored over his more than 24 years at the Port. Our thoughts are with Rick’s family at this difficult time.”

Cameron first came to the Port of Long Beach as an intern in 1996, according to biographical information provided by a port spokesman, and other than a three-year stint in consulting in the early 2000s, spent the rest of his career there.

During his tenure, he helped create and implement some of the port’s key environmental initiatives such as the Green Port Policy and San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Among those plans’ achievements, port officials say, are cutting ship emissions by providing cleaner on-shore power hookups and significantly reducing diesel particulate matter by shifting cargo to trains and requiring less-polluting trucks.