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Industry Experts Discuss Dredging At Conference In Savannah

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. PIANC USA and the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of ASCE jointly organized the Dredging 2015 conference last month in Savannah, Georgia, USA (19-22 October). It was a four-day technical specialty conference that brought together 325+ professionals and practitioners from all parts of the world to discuss a broad spectrum of topics related to dredging.

The theme for Dredging 2015, Moving and Managing Sediments, included technical presentations on all types of dredging projects from navigation channel deepening and maintenance to environmental restoration to the development of new ports and marinas. There were special sessions on local projects such as the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project and the recovery of the CSS Georgia. Conference attendees were able to earn more than twenty-four Professional Development Hours (PDHs), including two engineering ethics PDHs.

The Opening Plenary Keynote Speaker this year was Mr. John Tavolaro, USACE, ret., who spoke on "Dredging: Past Accomplishments and Future Challenges." As well, the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy (Assistant Secretary of the Army (CW), provided a very moving tribute to Dr. Robert Engler, PIANC USA Commissioner who passed away earlier this year. She announced a new PIANC USA Student Scholarship Award in Dr. Engler's name, and his wife and children where there to receive it on his behalf.

USACE Major General Jackson also spoke during the opening plenary session, discussing dredging and promoting the importance of having a strategic direction. The closing Plenary Session Luncheon on the final day of the conference included a panel discussion on "Public, Private Partnerships (P3) for the Nation's Inland Marine Transportation System - Focus on Dredging," moderated by Dennis Lambert, PE, COWI North America, Inc., Chair of ASCE COPRI P3 for Waterways Infrastructure Subcommittee, and included Edward Belk, US Army Corps of Engineers, Whitford Remer, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Richard Ornitz, InfraLynx Capital.

Attendees were able to obtain PDHs by attending the pre-conference short courses, covering topics such as Environmental Evaluations of Dredged Material, Sustainable Sediment Solutions for Ports and Waterways, and Geotextile Tubes. The conference also offered the opportunity to participate in two tours: a Savannah Harbor Cruise, and a visit to a dredged material containment area and the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge organized by the USACE Savannah District.

Special acknowledgement goes to this year's Conference Chair, Mr. Stephen Garbaciak Jr., PE, Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC. Additional thanks goes all of the exhibitors and sponsors, especially the Georgia Ports Authority and Weeks Marine. The industry media partners and groups such as the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port, and Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE) also provided valuable assistance.

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revised 22 January 2016


The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy (L) with Pat Engler

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy (L) with Pat Engler

Conference Exhibit Hall

Conference Exhibit Hall


Judith Powers, The Waterways Journal/IDR (L) &Judith Powers, The Waterways Journal/IDR (L) &
Ellen Johnck, Consultant (R) on the Harbor Cruise.