Even as the Russian people are mourning the vicious and disastrous attacks on a school and two planes, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of their countrymen, women and children, people are bravely gathering in Hamburg to discuss building ports and maintaining shipping channels - our best hope of furthering the peaceful aims of peaceful governments. The theme "Dredging in a Sensitive Environment" takes on a new meaning in light of the violence happening around the globe. The land, water, flora and fauna are sensitive, but even more so, the people of the world are sensitive and at risk. By doing our part to further the wise development of the infrastructure through dredging, we in this industry are helping our fellow human beings to achieve peace and prosperity.
Violence of another sort, this time from Mother Nature, has been hitting Florida (even as Typhoon Rananim created even more damage in China's Zhejiang province, killing 63 people and destroying 42,000 homes on August 19). As I write this, Florida is still stunned by Hurricane Charlie, returning home after Frances, and preparing for Gaston.
Editing the report on Peanut Island for this issue, which is exactly where Frances made landfall, I wondered how that project fared, so I called Scott Vandegrift, J.E. McAmis project manager for the West Palm Beach project. The day I talked to him they had just put everything back into their field office after evacuating for Hurricane Frances, and were beginning to pack things up again in preparation for Gaston.
The project was not harmed at all by the hurricane at the beginning of September, he said, though it "beat on us for 48 hours." They had time to remove all their equipment from the area, including a PC 1800 excavator, and take it to safe harbor farther north.
I asked him if their environmental restoration work at Lake Worth had been impacted, and he said that everything above water was in place and untouched, and hydrographic surveys would reveal whether any shoaling had disturbed the underwater habitat elevations they had created. The project was very well engineered, he said.
See Peanut Island article beginning on page 4 of this issue. In addition, David Roach of the Florida Inland Navigation District described the project during the Texas A&M seminar on July 7 in Orlando, and his paper is in the WEDA XXIV conference proceedings.
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