Understanding Dredging - 19/04/2012

The Central Dredging Association – CEDA

Anna Csiti, General manager, CEDA

Dredging is essential to the construction or maintenance of much of the infrastructure on which our economic prosperity and social well-being depend. It is also an important tool to restore and enhance the natural environment. It is an activity of which the wider public is largely unaware, but it is a field within which research has led to enormous developments in recent years. Against this background there is a need for a forum for the exchange of quality information on all aspects of dredging.

Set up in 1978, the Central Dredging Association – CEDA - an international, independent professional society, provides such a forum for all those organisations, corporations and individuals who work in the fields related to dredging and marine construction and are based in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. CEDA’s diverse membership includes research institutes, universities, governmental bodies, contractors, consultants, manufacturers, service providers and so on. Currently CEDA has some 130 corporate members and 550 individual members coming from 39 different countries.

CEDA is a member of WODA, the World Organisation of Dredging Associations. The two other members of WODA are WEDA, the Western Dredging Association that covers the Americas and EADA, the Eastern Dredging Association that covers Asia, Australia and the Pacific region. The three sister associations share the same goals and objectives, however, operations to attain these are carried out independently.

CEDA is the leading source in its region for unbiased technical and scientific information on all aspects of dredging. It offers its members a unique, easy-to-access platform for networking worldwide with experts from all aspects of the dredging community and related industries. CEDA promotes dredging as a tool for sustainable developments and seeks to raise the profile of the dredging field among other professionals and the general public.

CEDA accomplishes its goals by a variety of member activities including: congresses and workshops, short courses, technical visits, working groups; information and position papers, proceedings, guidelines; involvement in the work of international bodies such as the London Convention and Protocol, the OSPAR Convention, the European Commission, and by co-operation with other national and international organisations with an interest in dredging.

The remaining part of the article gives some examples of activities that have taken place in the recent past or will take place in the near future.

WODCONs – the Highlight of Every Dredging Professional’s Calendar
World Dredging Congresses (WODCONs) are organised every three years by WODA. The only worldwide events dedicated exclusively to dredging and maritime construction, WODCONs provide a unique platform for researchers and practitioners from industry, academia and governments to meet and debate dredging. CEDA is proud to organise the next one in this prestigious series of events: WODCON XX: ‘The Art of Dredging’, 3-7 June 2013, Brussels, Belgium.

Training Courses
CEDA is committed to environmentally responsible management of dredging activities. In our training courses we emphasise that understanding the ecosystem is essential. It not only helps mitigate potential negative impacts, but also improves and enhances the wider project environment – something that each dredging project should seek to achieve.

Our two-day training course ‘Environmental Aspects of Dredging’ developed in co-operation with the International Association of Dredging Companies will be presented for the third time by the Postgraduate Academic Programme (PAO) of Delft University of Technology, on 19-20 April 2012. Compacted into two very full days, the course is composed of lectures and working group sessions. Topics covered include an overview of the ’players’ who may become involved in dredging projects and their perspectives; main types of dredging equipment, their environmental effects and possible mitigation measures; pre-dredging site investigations, monitoring and dredged material management.

Impartial State of the Art Information on Underwater Sound
CEDA publications are peer-reviewed by international experts and represent high quality standards. Input for such documents is obtained from all professionals groups within the CEDA membership. Our latest publication, the CEDA Position Paper on Underwater Sound in Relation to Dredging, addresses a subject that has recently become an important environmental issue.

The position paper provides an overview of the various activities involved in dredging that produce underwater sounds. It shows that dredging is within the lower range of emitted sound pressure levels compared to other man-made sounds. The paper concludes that dredging sound has the potential to affect the behaviour of aquatic life in some cases but injury in most scenarios should not be a concern. Finally, the paper states that more information on sounds from dredging and its effects on aquatic life is necessary to further identify risks and support informed decisions about potential mitigation measures. The document can be downloaded from the CEDA website: www.dredging.org.

CEDA is now taking the lead in establishing the WODA Expert Group on Underwater Sound (WEGUS). The group shall extend the previous achievements to a broader international level and shall promote and facilitate the development of an underwater sound monitoring protocol/procedure for dredging in conjunction with other initiatives.

Independent Expert Advice
As an official Non-Governmental Observer (NGO) CEDA has been working closely with the London Convention and its Protocol, the OSPAR Convention and various bodies of the European Commission concerning the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, Waste Directive and the Marine Strategy Directive. CEDA representatives actively participate in meetings and relevant working groups of these bodies to provide independent expert advice to help shape policy development. We have a well-deserved reputation for quality and integrity of information. The importance of this work cannot be overestimated in ensuring that legislation pertinent to dredging and maritime construction is based on sound technical and scientific knowledge and takes account of best practice and is ultimately workable. CEDA is proud to be part of this process on behalf of its members.

Eye to the Future
Set up in 2009, the youngest commission within CEDA, suitably named, Young CEDA, is making remarkable headway in raising the interest of students and young professionals in the field of dredging and engaging them in the Association. Young CEDA is a unique, international network of students and young professionals in the dredging sector, representing the entire cross section of CEDA’s diverse membership. In addition to organising well attended meetings and technical visits for the younger generation, Young CEDA also challenges the CEDA board of directors with new ideas and provides constructive feedback to ensure that the views and interests of young professionals are represented and incorporated into CEDA activities at every level.

CEDA is fortunate to have numerous dedicated and enthusiastic members who kindly volunteer their time and expertise, along with the much valued support of their employers who endorse their work for CEDA. Thanks to this CEDA is as dynamic and vigorous as ever and continues its work towards its vision that is to be essential to corporations, professionals and stakeholders in the fields of dredging and marine construction and to be recognised for its professional expertise and balanced views.

Last updated: 17/11/2019