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To The Editor_Cohen

Marsha Cohen submitted this letter and article:

Each year the WEDA organizing committee presents the Dredger of the Year award to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the industry. This year, as Larry Patella, WEDA Executive Director, and Bill Hanson, WEDA president announced the name of Judith Powers, no one except Judith herself, was surprised. Well known to all of us as editor of International Dredging Review, she is the first woman to be so honored. And since she is too modest to blow her own horn it is wonderful that WEDA has chosen to do it for her. As Larry Patella told me, “Under the guise of needing background information for some vague reason, I asked Judith to send over her biography, which, being the reliable person she is, she promptly obliged.”

Little did she know that her life story would then be engraved on the Dredger of the Year 2008 plaque.

Judith graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in December of 1967 with a degree in journalism and began her journalistic dredging career in 1977 working for World Dredging and Marine Construction (later World Dredging and Mining Construction) magazine which had offices in San Pedro, California. At WDMC she quickly became a knowledgeable dredger reporting on the christening of the dredges Lenel Bean and Eagle I in New Orleans, the newly instituted air quality standards in Los Angeles that designated cutter dredges as stationary plants, and the 20/20 plan announced by the Port of Los Angeles, that included deepening and massive port expansion to be completed by 2020.

Confident and knowledgeable, in 1981 she decided to start her own informative dredging magazine, International Dredging Review. Responding to a request from George Watts, former WEDA Executive Secretary, the five-year-old International Dredging Review provided complimentary magazine subscriptions to all paid WEDA members, providing a significant incentive for those in the dredging industry to become loyal WEDA members.

Throughout her more than 27 years as editor and publisher of the International Dredging Review Judith Powers attended almost of the Western Dredging Association’s annual conferences and many of the chapter meetings including those held in Mexico and Panama. Her coverage of the dredging industry included reports on controversial issues, the 1986 Water Resource Development Act that introduced local cost sharing, equipment, specific projects, people, as well as a photographic archive that has resulted in a historical treasure chest of dredging information.

Judith Powers, through her generosity and professionalism, tireless energy, literary talent, and vast knowledge of issues surrounding the dredging industry, has provided the Western Dredging Association with a vast reservoir of historical data that will only be surpassed elsewhere with great difficulty. Her enthusiastic support of the Western Dredging Association was a significant factor in the unparalleled growth of the association, allowing it to become the recognized center of dredging excellence throughout the Western Hemisphere.

I know I speak for all the many friends and colleagues who Judith has served diligently: Congratulations to you and many more successful years for IDR.

Marsha Cohen

Editor, Terra et Aqua magazine

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