International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

The USS Midway is San Diego’s premier waterfront attraction.

Mo Chang president of Western Dredging Association (WEDA) Pacific chapter and chief Corps Navigation for the Los Angeles District opened the Thursday morning session of WEDA Pacific chapter conference on October 20 after coffee and a continental breakfast in the lobby. Chang thanked participants for attending and introduced Marshall Merrifield Port of San Diego chairman of the board of port commissioners who spoke about the creation of the Port of San Diego and future planned development enhancements. The Port Com-mission manages the state lands of California within its jurisdiction and serves primarily as a landlord regulating and renting to private developers and operators. Merrifield explained how the Shelter Island and Harbor Island areas of San Diego Bay were created from the initial dredging of the harbor channel and other Port areas and the importance of ongoing navigation and shoreline maintenance in the Bay. 

Chairman Merrifield then turned the presentation over to Eileen Maher principal Port of San Diego Capital Improvement and Major Maintenance Programs who reviewed the more than $3 billion in capital projects planned for the Port in coming years including $1.5 billion for the redevelopment of Sea-port Village and related 66-year lease some of which will be accomplished through joint funding by the BATIC Institute. Other projects slated for this massive funding and redevelopment will include new hotel marina and cruise ship terminals at Harbor Island Shelter Island the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and the San Diego 5th Street Convention Center. RFQs are being initiated now by the port.

KJ May and Christina Birdsey Oxnard Harbor District / Port Hueneme presented details on the $1.5 billion economic impact of the harbor deepening project there. Approximately 630000 cubic yards of dredged materials will be removed including 290000 cubic yards of contaminated material that will be placed in a contained aquatic site in the harbor. 

Other morning presentations included the Port of Seattle Pier 91 Underwater Regrading Project by Catherine Chu project manager Port of Seattle and Nancy Case O’Bourke Dalton Olmstead & Fuglevand. Ian Whitlock Port of Portland spoke about the environ-mental challenge of preserving habitat for the Streaked-Horned Lark which prefers newly deposited clean sand for its nesting environment and how dredging in the Port of Portland and Columbia River have positively impacted the species. Tim Welp Corps ERDC Research Hydraulic Engineer presented an acoustic video demonstration of tickler chains’ effective-ness in mitigating turtle kills during operations aboard the hopper dredge Essayons in Hawaii. And Michael Whelan P.E. Anchor QEA discussed the removal and disposal of contaminated material from the San Diego Naval Shipyards and remediation of the San Diego Shipyard Sediment Site.  

During the luncheon plenary Commander Dick Walker USN (retired) presented some of the highlights and history of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum now docked on the San Diego waterfront which is still used occasionally as an active duty training location. The conference was adjourned after lunch and attendees were given an opportunity to tour the Midway for the rest of the afternoon.


Friday’s conference began with a presentation by Eric Hanson from The Northwest Seaport Alliance a new port authority organizational joint venture of the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma overseeing all of their related cargo terminals. Hanson reviewed the ongoing Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project projected to remove 1.15 mil-lion cubic yards of material at a cost of $14.7 million and the Tacoma South Harbor Blair Waterway Project designed to remove 400000 cubic yards in the creation of two redesigned big ship berths in the harbor. 

Matt Binsfield JF Brennan Company presented “Advancements for Removal of Impacted Sediments and Capping Materials” looking at ways to reduce construction costs utilizing a swinging ladder dredge with a disc cutter and/or diver dredge head to reduce over cutting. 

Other speakers and topics included Joshua Rohrer and the new EPA Vessel General Permit (VGP) for lubricants; Wesley Thomas Arcadis Design & Consultancy and the dredging and removal of creosote deposits in the St. Joe River of Northern Idaho; Helder Costa Haley & Aldrich Inc. using PAH composition analysis to evaluate dissolved-phase groundwater discharges to surface water resulting from both natural and dredging construction causes; Liisa Doty Water Techtonics electrocoagulation and chitosan enhanced sand filtration at Superfund sites in Western Washington; Julia Fitts Anchor QEA a case study of the Skagway Alaska harbor redevelopment; Gene Revelas Integral Consulting Inc. mapping dredge material and caps at Douglas Harbor Dredging Project in Juneau Alaska; Pete Webber COO depth of cover mapping; and Kathryn Hubbard Haley & Aldrich the risks and ways to adapt to rising sea levels high heat days changing weather patterns extreme weather and changes in biodiversity.

At the end of the day Mo Chang convened his last WEDA Pacific Chapter business meeting as president of the association after a five-year stint on the WEDA Board of Directors. He thanked all of the members for their support through the years and all of the attendees and presenters for making this conference a successful and worthwhile event and introduced new Board Member Jared Norton Corps. 

Incoming Pacific Chapter WEDA President Nick Buhbe Western Regional Director Great Ecology presented a plaque to Chang and thanked him for his years of service. Buhbe then announced that next year’s meeting will be in Portland Oregon. The conference was adjourned and attendees departed for a bus tour of National City Marine Terminal a fit-ting final event sponsored by the Port of San Diego.