News and information for the worldwide dredging industry

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Thoughts on the World Dredging Conference

The World Dredging conference was a fitting event to herald a tremendous burst of growth in the dredging industry. Paper authors from around the globe described projects and techniques that will have applications everywhere, and it was obvious that environmental considerations are an important part of these dredging projects, foretelling land reclamation and development that will not be a burden on the planet or destroy the resources we have – at least in theory.

The environmental commission meetings and sessions told an even stronger story of the intent of dredging professionals to design and carry out projects that take natural processes, wildlife and esthetics into account, while also calling for a sense of reality in project planning. Too often public concern and outcry is not justified by scientific fact. It is the job of dredging professionals to educate the public of the facts of the impact of dredging, and the environmental commission came up with some plans in this direction, even so far as looking at the “dredging” entry on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to make sure it is factual.

With the large contingent of 50 or more from China, it was possible to meet and get to know a number of their representatives, including the organizers of the next WODCON in Beijing – the 19th, or XIX, in 2008. They promise us the Great Wall of China and other wonders, in addition to the conference. Who could resist that lure?
I have to mention how good it was to see some old friends who have stepped to the sidelines of the industry.

Chuck Hummer and his wife Sandy were there. Chuck is wheelchair-ridden with ALS, but was looking wonderful.
Raised in the Panama Canal Zone, he was chief of the Dredging Division of the Panama Canal before going to Washington to work in the chief of Engineers office and at Fort Belvoir with Bill Murden, taking over as head of Navigation after Bill retired in the early 1990’s.
Chuck is very active in the ALS association, raising money for research for a cure for this dreadful disease. The dredging industry has responded generously in the past, and I hope will continue to do so.

Steve Bowes was at every dredging event I attended for about 20 years, and his retirement left a great void. He and his wife Liz are happily retired in Jacksonville, and drove over to Orlando for the first few days of WODCON. It was just like old times, hearing Steve’s laugh and catching glimpses of his friendly face during the event. I snapped a photo of them before they left for home, and include it here.

At IDR, our wonderful advertising manager Len Cors is backing off from advertising sales and directory updating, though he will stay on as business advisor. Taking his place in advertising is Patrick Donovan, who is promising to fill Len’s shoes well. Look for him at conferences and meetings.

In the office, Stacie Hoffman is at the helm, managing our database and keeping the business running smoothly. I used to do the magazine layout, while Production Manager Gail Blinde made it all look good. She is now in charge of all the layout from beginning to end, starting with this issue. I couldn’t be happier with the result.
See you in Hawaii, Rio, Rotterdam...

Judith Powers
Editor

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