News and information for the worldwide dredging industry

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A 2007 Retrospective

With the last issue of the year just about finished, I can look at 2007 as a whole, with the help of the Index of Features, included in this issue.

We published 215 articles this year. The categories and articles reflect our purpose, which is to produce a complete picture of the industry, with attention to the details as well as the big picture.

In this issue we tell the story of how a navigation obstruction was found and removed at Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, describe the momentous passage of the Water Resources Development Act, report on two major dredging conferences, and circle the globe with news of port development projects.

Our reporting in 2007 scanned the amazing expansion of the dredging industry.

The continuing population explosion demands transportation of more and more goods throughout the world, and the major transportation mode is by water. Ports everywhere are expanding by deepening their navigation channels and berths, and the international players in the dredging industry are responding to the market by adding more and more large dredges to their fleets.

The eyes of the world have been on the Middle East for years, as dredges create the massive Palm Islands and other islands in the United Arab Emirates, providing upscale housing and recreation for residents and expatriots.

The government of China issued a plea for dredging companies to work on expansion projects there. Here in the United States, the largest dredging company, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, has moved much of its plant to the Middle East, and in October purchased two large South American hopper dredges for that market.

In the past few months, Western Dredging Association chapters met in Philadelphia, Honolulu, New Orleans and Brazil, and the Central Dredging Association met in Holland.

These meetings are a valuable focus on local dredging issues, with speakers describing regional projects and items of concern.

The events include a Corps of Engineers /Industry meeting in the program, in which the project managers from the local districts report on dredging contracts for the coming fiscal year. This gives the audience a valuable picture of the jobs available to them.

We’ve chosen a graphic from one of these talks for the cover of this issue. The satellite photo of Matagorda Bay, Texas is typical of the high quality graphics we see at the meetings.

IDR will to continue to follow all these stories. In this issue are reports on the New Orleans and Rotterdam conferences. Look for stories on the others in January.

Next March I will have been covering the dredging industry for 31 years. Assuming a 40-hour week (not allowing for all-nighters, travel, and meetings that last into the evening) I figure that this represents about 64,000 hours of reporting on the industry. It has been great fun, and has taken me to some fascinating places, such as to Waikiki, where this fall, despite my advanced age, I tried surfing for the first time.

We have changed our web site to be more of an online magazine. All the articles from each issue will be posted, along with breaking news and many other features.

To see the articles and archives, you need a subscription, which comes with your paid subscription to the print magazine. Create your account on the site, then email or call me, and I’ll activate your online subscription. (editor @dredgemag.com; +1-970-568-0833).

Judith Powers

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