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So That Ships May Pass: WEDA Conference 2013

Christine Smith and Nadia Lombardero at the Anamar Environmental Consulting booth display their award for Most Eye-Appealing Booth.

Christine Smith and Nadia Lombardero at the Anamar Environmental Consulting booth display their award for Most Eye-Appealing Booth.

Bob Randall of Texas A&M Univerisity chaired a session on Advances in Dredges with Michael Doble, who takes questions after his presentation on “Advanced Methods for Surveying of Buried Facilities.”

John Doi, Donald Nazario, Ken Hayes of Aqua Survey stand at their award-winning exhibit for the Most Educational Booth.

Ram Mohan of Anchor QEA, Michael Gerhardt of Dredge Contractors of America, Craig Vogt of Craig Vogt Inc., and Marcel Hermans of the Port of Portland at the board of director’s dinner. Mohan and Hermans were elected as the new president and vice-president of the board of directors, respectively.

Ed Trainer of Tencate Geotube and Troy Ogasawara of Geotech Solutions, Inc. discussed the benefits of a new filling port system and connections for Geotubes and the benefits of a vertical, rather than sloped, end on the tube.

About 150 people and 30 exhibitors attended the 33rd Western Dredging Association (WEDA)/ Texas A&M 44th Annual Dredging Seminar in Honolulu, Hawaii, from August 25 to 28. After opening remarks from WEDA President Robert Wetta of DSC Dredge, LLC, Col. Gregory Gunter, USACE, Pacific Division Deputy Commander, Hawaii, one of the few Corps representatives, spoke about the necessity of harbors and navigation, which supports every facet of life on the Hawaiian Islands. The budget issues were among the challenges he talked about for the Corps, but the focus of the majority of his talk was on transforming the civil works program to be more innovative and collaborative. That means important partnerships with groups that have a common interest in navigation, and doing things better at the Corps. The 3-3-3 concept tries to simplify Corps initiative so they are more manageable and more streamlined. Under this rule of three, Col. Gunter said studies by the Corps must be completed within three years, have a budget under $3 million, and go through three levels of review. The Corps has to be ready “to do less, with less,” Gunter said.

In addition to a keynote speech on dredging and maritime affairs in Hawaii, by Chris Takashige of the Oahu Department of Design and Construction, members and guests presented more than 40 technical sessions on advances in dredging, environmental remediation, safety, sediment management and numerous case studies.

The awards presented at the conference dinner included Lifetime Achievement awards to Ruud Ouwerkerrk, who retired earlier this year, and Judith Powers, founder, former editor and advisor of International Dredging Review. Tom Verna of USACE Navigation Center, won the Safety Award. The Anchor QEA Young Author Best Paper Award went to Philip Nettles of SPI/Mobile Pulley Works, Inc. for “Dredge Pump Design Evolution at SPI/Mobile Pulley Works.” Michael Whelan of Anchor QEA, won the DSC Dredge Best Paper Award for his paper on a project at the Hwwaii Kai Marina in Oahu.The DCA/WEDA Best Paper Award went to Lisa Glahn of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., for “Practical Claims Avoidance Techniques: How to Prevent Excess Costs and Unnecessary Delay on Dredging Projects.”

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