Editorial

This June issue of Terra et Aqua features three articles pertaining to the dredging industry. Two of the articles in this edition deal with topics that have been especially gaining more attention over the past couple of decades in the industry – the environment and safety.

As marine infrastructure projects have an impact on the environment, dredging contractors and other stakeholders are increasingly working on solutions, especially in recent years, that will enable them to design and realise works in environmentally sensitive areas. Some contractors are taking their efforts even further by implementing initiatives to help the environment specifically around dredging projects.

An example of such an initiative is highlighted in the first article, “ReefGuard: A scientific approach to active reef rehabilitation”. The feature delves into a Coral Rehabilitation Initiative which demonstrates that small-scale coral breeding techniques can be scaled-up and applied in practice to promote environmental gain around marine infrastructure projects. Through ReefGuard, a mobile coral breeding facility that provides a highly controlled environment, the Initiative’s goal is to integrate the breeding and outplanting of corals. The article highlights four coral breeding experiments which were successful utilising ReefGuard.

The importance of safety cannot be underestimated in any workplace. The dredging industry places safety as its number one priority especially since any incident could be potentially fatal due to the interface between man and machines. Thus, “Safety on site” talks about how companies can significantly reduce the number of potential accidents on the construction site by implementing strict safety protocols and separating pedestrians and machinery on the site. Employees also have a part to play in maintaining a safe working environment by staying vigilant and being able to identify potential dangers.

The last article, “Innovative modelling: A tool for coastal developments” discusses a package of five interacting numerical hydro-sedimentary models that was developed in order to assess a major port expansion project, the Port-La Nouvelle harbour, located in an inlet between BagesSigean lagoon and the Mediterranean coast.

Just as the articles in Terra et Aqua are meant to provide readers with informative dredgingrelated articles, the International Association of Dredging Companies’ (IADC) goal is to inform its audience about the industry and essential information pertaining to it. Thus, IADC has been busy restructuring its website. Set to go live later this year, the website will serve as a Knowledge Centre to make information on dredging more accessible. Interested parties will be able to find the necessary information on the dredging industry and myriad dredging-related subjects with ease.

Another topic that readers will find informative and relevant for the industry is about Early Contractor Involvement (ECI). The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), which IADC has a close working relationship with, has set up a working party to produce a report on ECI. With this report, information concerning this important issue can be easily accessed.

Besides disseminating information about dredging, IADC is actively involved in promoting safety within the industry. The Secretary General of IADC and I recently visited two of our members at their offices, NMDC (Abu Dhabi) and Gulf Cobla (Dubai), to discuss several issues. This included a discussion about the nominations for the IADC Safety Award, which will be granted at the Annual General Meeting in September.

Frank Verhoeven

Frank Verhoeven
President, IADC