Even though the dredging industry has spent millions on environmental protection remediation and education there is still much skepticism in the public at large regarding dredging and marine construction which often translates into needless and even counter-productive regulations and stipulations. The dredging organizations have identified this disconnect as gaps in understanding and have warned |!|mind the gap!|!| as signs warn about the gap between train and platform in the London Underground.
In the months leading up to the World Dredging Congress in Hamburg last October the environmental groups of the Western Central and Eastern Dredging Associations honed and refined the newly-passed Hamburg Declaration included in this issue on page 8. It is essentially an acknowledgement of these gaps in understanding and a promise to commit to environmentally sustainable dredging projects and methods. Adoped by dredging people from 35 attending countries the Hamburg Declaration puts our industry on record as a responsible caretaker in our area of the planet.
I’m writing this on March 2 and completion of this editorial will mark the completion of the third of three projects: two regular issues of the magazine and the Annual Directory of Dredge Owners and Operators. Besides the print edition of the Directory we also have the data on CD as well as on our website: www.dredgemag.com. There is a fee for the latter two services but we’re making the online Directory free throughout April so starting right after midnight on April 1 you’ll be able to click around on that site at no charge.
Along with other Internet denizens we are looking for |!|feedback|!| (in quotes because thanks to E-bay feedback is highly sought after and has become a phenomenon.) We are no different than other Internet peddlers and therefore hope you will give us some feedback on how you like the online website. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
We’re tracking the progress of the Dredge Goetz construction and I asked Hugh Smith of Le Tourneau Shipyard to let me know when they launched the dredge. On January 13 Hugh Smith sent this photo along with this comment: “The Mississippi River began to rise and put us in a position of having to launch the dredge sooner than planned. We needed to get a lot done in a matter of days…we did it. Thanks to Big River Salvage the professionalism of their crews and most of all their A-frame lifting rigs MM and Big Gun. We received a river stage forecast on Wednesday evening 5 Jan ’05 and had the dredge in the water about noon on the following Thursday.|!|
Judith Powers Editor