CEC: Three Long-Term Members Step Down

In their October meeting last year, CEDA’s Environment Commission (CEC) said goodbye to three of its very active members.

They are stepping down form the Commission due to their approaching retirements from their day jobs. We have enjoyed working with them very much and therefore would like to pay tribute to their great work for CEDA.

Axel Netzband from the Hamburg Port Authority, Germany, was present when the idea of the CEC, that time called the CEDA Environmental Steering Committee, was conceived. This happened in December 1990, during the CEDA Workshop on Environmental Aspects of Dredging at the Hydraulics Research Institute (known today as HR Wallingford) , Wallingford, UK. This workshop was named after ir. J. Diephuis in recognition of his early appreciation of the importance of protecting the natural environment.

It took five more years until Axel became closely connected with the CEC as Heinz Glindemann’s alternate on the committee. Since then – and from 2010 as a full member – Axel has made numerous invaluable contributions to the group, primarily on sediment management issues, prompting Polite Laboyrie, Chairman of the CEC, declare him the “king of sediment management”. Through this subject, Axel’s “portfolio” in the CEC also included three European Directives: the Water Framework, the Waste and the Marine Strategy Directives. In particular regarding the first two, Axel played a key role in reviewing and responding to proposals of the various bodies of the European Commission involved in the implementation of these directives. Axel was also CEC’s link to SedNet and Dredging Europe and ensured that these groups were well-informed about each others work and views. It is largely – although not fully – by coincidence, that Axel’s last CEC meeting would also be at the beautiful premises of HR Wallingford.

Gerard van Raalte from Boskalis, The Netherlands, has been on the CEC for twenty years. Always taking a pro-active, constructive approach and able to provoke discussion – as Polite Laboyrie pointed out in his farewell speech – Gerard has shared his vast knowledge and experience with the CEC and the larger dredging community in various capacities. To name a few: on the Editorial Board of the book “Environmental Aspects of Dredging” published in 2008 and its predecessor booklets published in the period of 1996 to 2001, on Technical Papers Committees of CEDA conferences and seminars, on the CEDA Working Group and WODA Expert Group on Underwater Sound, as chairman of the currently established CEDA Working Group on Adaptive Management and as a CEC representative in the recent CEDA Strategy Workshop which lays the foundation for CEDA for many years to come.

Gerard has been an inexhaustible source of ideas. Many successful new initiatives can be traced back to him. From the Dredging Song contests at the CEDA Dredging Days in 2001 and the, for that contest, lyrics “Dredging in the Sand” co-authored with Nick Bray to the design of the WODCON XX Dredging Debate and its role playing: without exception, Gerard’s ideas were followed up with work, more often than not in spare time.

Pol Hakstege of Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in The Netherlands was – just like Axel – also an active part of the group as alternate to Polite Laboyrie, long before he became a full member of the CEC in 2011. During his relatively short membership, Pol has made his mark as the “climate change man”: he chaired the CEDA Working Group on the subject and by being presenter of the 2nd CEDA webinar, he made an important contribution to this new CEDA initiative. Pol also joined the team of lecturers for the CEDA-IADC Course “Environmental Aspects of Dredging” where he shared his many years of experience from a project owner’s perspective. Sediment management and the Water Framework Directive were also subjects where CEC could always count on Pol for his expert insights.

All three retiring members made sure that their place on the CEC will be taken up by very capable and equally committed young colleagues. The new CEC members are: Pieter de Boer, Rijkswaterstaat, Astrid Kramer, Boskalis and Henrich Roeper Hamburg Port Authority.

Neville Burt, former Chair and founding member of the CEC, and Nick Bray, Editor of the book Environmental Aspects of Dredging and founding member of the CEC, also joined the dinner in Wallingford during which CEC celebrated its retiring members. This made the event even more special.

CEC thanks Axel, Gerard and Pol for their commitment, dedication and friendship and thanks their organizations to make their involvement in the CEC possible. CEC wishes all three men the best for their retirements.

The occasion marked another milestone: this was the 50th meeting of the CEC.

Press Release, December 20, 2013


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