Environment and sustainability
are core concerns

Perhaps no subject arouses as much interest, controversy and discussion as the intersection of dredging and the environment. IADC’s member companies are at the vanguard of research on the environmental impacts of maritime construction and their ongoing investments have reaped vast amounts of knowledge through programmes such as EcoShape/Building with Nature and the Flemish Bays projects.  The knowledge they acquire is then applied to their projects all over the world.

Remediation operations, in which contaminated industrial sites are cleaned up and often transformed into healthy living and working locations, are the obvious candidates for consideration when talking environment.  Yet environmental issues go beyond this, and safeguarding ecosystems during all types of dredging activities is truly the focus. This is particularly important since the majority of dredged sediment is clean or can be made clean and suitable for a beneficial use.

The IADC through its publications, especially Environmental Aspects of Dredging and the Facts About series, as well as the course on Environmental Aspects of Dredging, directly addresses the questions and concerns of stakeholders. Terra et Aqua Journal also offers many environmental research articles ranging from cleanups to the precautions for protecting coral reefs and other marine habitats.

Environment and sustainability is a crucial part of every dredging project and these subjects will remain high on the list of the IADC’s priorities.


Webinar - Ecology and Dredging

Presented by: Astrid Kramer (Boskalis) and Heidi van der Meij (Van Oord).

This webinar focusses on the need and application of ecological knowledge in dredging projects. About the presenters: Astrid Kramer is an ecologist and works as a project engineer for Boskalis. Heidi van der Meij works as an environmental engineer for Van Oord.

For whom: everyone interested in the intersection of ecology and dredging.

Level: foreknowledge is not required.

Because dredging projects impact a wide variety of stakeholders, a fundamental knowledge of the interaction of ecology and dredging is to everyone's benefit.The word Ecology comes from the Greek words 'oikos' and 'logos' meaning the study or the laws of the house. It is the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environment. An environment comprises plants, animals, hydrodynamic processes, chemical characteristics and... dredging contractors.

Dredging contractors act worldwide and therefore interact with almost any type of environment: salt marshes, mangroves, coral reefs, tropical rainforests, the arctic, rivers, the deep sea, shallow seas. As responsible contractors our aim is to minimise the environmental impacts. To do so successfully, a thorough understanding of the complex web of ecosystem relations and our role in it is crucial. Not an easy task or one we dredgers can do completely by ourselves.

During the last two decades dredging contractors have deliberately sought out collaboration with scientists and this has resulted in an increased understanding of dredging-induced impacts and innovative designs to mitigate and compensate these impacts.