Dredging Conference Honors ERDC Experts

As major conference presenters, facilitators and award recipients, ERDC-EL and CHL team members often took center stage at the Western Dredging Association’s (WEDA) and Texas A&M’s Dredging Summit and Expo held June 22-25 in Houston, Texas.

WEDA is a technical professional organization devoted to knowledge exchange in fields related to dredging, navigation, marine engineering and construction. The organization sponsors or co-sponsors national and international technical conferences, seminars, and symposiums, such as June’s annual conference, and features publication and dissemination of event proceedings.

Defined as the subaqueous or underwater excavation of soils and rock, the dredging process phases actually include excavation, vertical transport, horizontal transport and placement or use of the dredged material.

ERDC is actively involved in supporting the Corps of Engineers’ dredging component of the navigation mission through extensive research and development (R&D) programs. These programs provide state-of-the-art information to government agencies and private entities which need to manage dredging projects and dredged material disposal.

ERDC’s expert presenters

EL’s Dr. Todd Bridges and Cynthia Banks presented papers during the event’s beneficial use technical session titled “Evolving Dredging Practices to Engineer with Nature” and “Engineering With Nature Geographic Project Mapping Tool” respectively. Bridges and Dr. Edmond Russo served as session chairs.

For his paper during the coastal restoration technical session, CHL’s Coraggio Maglio presented “Tampa Harbor Maintenance Dredging with Egmont Key Beneficial Re-use of High Silt Content Material Using a Traditional Template Versus Cross Shore Swash Zone Placement.”

EL’s Dr. Burton Suedel’s survey and modeling technical session presentation was “Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Modeling for Horseshoe Bend Island Creation in the Lower Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.”

Lauren Dunkin of CHL presented a paper titled “Quantitative Approach to Navigation Channels Asset Management” as Maglio served as the facilitator for this past, present and future of dredging technical session.

Prestigious Awards

The highest of only two environmental awards given by the WEDA for navigation dredging, WEDA’s Gold Environmental Excellence Award recognized ERDC’s Engineering with Nature (EWN) action project, “Horseshoe Bend Island Creation in the Lower Atchafalaya River, Louisiana.”

Suedel accepted the award during the June 24 ceremony on behalf of the project team and later described the project in detail during the WEDA environmental commission plenary session.

During the closing session June 25, Maglio received the DSC Dredge, LLC Best Paper Award for the overall best paper representing the topic of “Why is Dredging Good?”

ERDC was well-represented at this annual conference both as dredging team members shared their expertise with more than 300 attendees and as award recipients for outstanding R&D during 2015.