Polite Laboyrie, CEDA President. Credit: CEDA

USA - Dredging in a changing world Dredging and Port Construction

Our industry will face some of its toughest challenges over the next decade. As a responsible industry, we must look to sustainable practices to realise the best outcomes, writes CEDA president Polite Laboyrie

Dredging is changing. This is the theme of the forthcoming World Dredging Congress (WODCON) taking place in Copenhagen in 2022, organised by Central Dredging Association (CEDA). So much is implied by these simple three words.

By its very nature, dredging has a big influence on natural and socio-economic environments. The way we dredge is also changing. In fact, in the 42 years of CEDA’s and DPC’s co-existence, we have seen many changes take place within the industry – some were introduced incrementally, others were fundamental changes that the industry was forced to adjust to.

One crucial change introduced incrementally at the beginning of the twenty-first century and which will drive dredging innovations for many years to come is the global shift towards sustainability.

CEDA and the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) collaborated on a guidebook – Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure – in which we proposed the following operational definition of sustainability for water infrastructure projects involving dredging, such as port development, river deepening, flood defence measures, and reclamations:

“Sustainability is achieved in the development of infrastructure by efficiently investing the resources needed to support the desired social, environmental, and economic services generated by infrastructure for the benefit of current and future generations.”

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