News and information for the worldwide dredging industry

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This issue, May/June 2013, is my last as editor of IDR. Starting on June 1, I will be editor emeritus, the “face of IDR”, feature writer and advisor. You’ll keep hearing from me, because my job will be to know what is happening in the industry. I’m turning the hard part over to Anna Townshend, who, as the new editor, will pull it all together into a magazine.

When I published the first issue of IDR in October, 1981, I was following a dream of creating a trade journal that serves the dredging industry with interesting, well-written articles, energetic and accurate news coverage, and above all, a commitment to ethics regarding separation of editorial and advertising goals as well as fair coverage of dredging events. 

With the industry’s cooperation, I have achieved all of this. You (the dredging industry) and I have been through both rough and smooth times together. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry, I have written of the successes of companies, visited dredges and written about how dredge crews work together to accomplish their jobs. I have ridden crew boats filled with people in hard hats covered with stickers announcing their loyalty to their union and to the company they work for, talked to dredging executives in their offices and at conferences and come away with the highest respect for the business acumen in this industry. I have sought out suppliers of everything from fairleads to winches to the most sophisticated hydrographic survey equipment, and published descriptions of this equipment and of the people and companies who make it all. I have visited Corps of Engineers area offices, gotten to know people at every level of the Corps operations, from the chief of engineers to the contract specialists in district offices. 

In my travels to Mexico, Canada, Panama, Holland, Germany, England and Ireland I have visited dredges and seen how dredging is done in those countries.

I have learned that dredging affects the lives of everyone in the world, that the people in this industry are happy, challenged, and able in their jobs. 

Best of all, I have met many wonderful people, most of whom have become friends and partners in the exciting business of reporting on an exciting part of the world economy.

I have also reported events that some didn’t care to see reported. I reported bankruptcies, painful firings, successes and failures, and a justice department spotlight on the industry, always as objectively as possible. You have supported IDR through it all. 

Growing up in the 50s, I took as my mantra the advice of Davy Crockett (filtered through Walt Disney): “Be sure you’re right, and then go ahead.” I learned what was right from some of the best journalists of the time at the University of Texas at Austin. And I had as dredging mentors, people who are now legendary: Bill and Dottie Murden, George Watts, Bob Jantzen, Tommy Wetta, Frank Hazen, Jan de Koening, Johan Wichers, and many more.

I step into this new phase of my life with sincere thanks to all of you in the industry for realizing what I was trying to accomplish, and helping me accomplish it.


Judith Powers

Editor, IDR

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