Four Environmental Excellence Awards in two categories, Environmental Dredging and Dredging for Coastal Reinforcement, were presented at the recent World Dredging Congress (WODCON) in Miami.

The consortium of Van Oord and Boskalis won an award for the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence in the Netherlands

WODCON is organized once every three years by WODA, the World Organization of Dredging Associations, and is the most important and eagerly anticipated event for dredging professionals worldwide.

The First Prize for WODA’s Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Dredging was presented to the project team for Boeing's Plant 2 Sediment Remediation and Urban Waterway Restoration at the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, USA.

Boeing recently completed a multi-faceted environmental restoration of a one mile portion of the Duwamish Waterway, removing contaminated sediments and creating acres of new aquatic habitat critical for endangered salmon migration as well as new vegetated marsh and riparian areas. The birthplace of the Boeing Company and the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber has been transformed by innovative remediation dredging methods (RDMs) developed for the project. These RDMs demonstrate that contaminated sediment can be removed efficiently without adverse release of chemicals to the water.

First prize winner for WODA’s 2016 Environmental Excellence Award for Dredging for Coastal Reinforcement was the Project Team for the Medmerry Managed Realignment at Medmerry,UK, where the project team members were Mackey, the UK Environment Agency, RSPB, Arcadis, and Jacobs.

Medmerry, on the southeast coast of England, has long faced problems with flooding from the sea, with regular breaches of the shingle bank, most recently in 2008. The managed realignment project ultimately protected 348 properties, sewage works and the main Selsey road, serving over 5,000 residents. It created 183 hectares of intertidal habitat and realised a maintenance savings of £300,000 per annum as well as incorporated extensive public access and economic growth opportunities. Medmerry is the largest managed realignment of the open coast in Europe.

The Silver Environmental Excellence Award winner in the Environmental Dredging category was Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Marsh Habitat Restoration in Delaware, USA.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and its adjacent water bodies are important natural features along the western shore of Delaware Bay. They were officially established in 1963 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) as an inviolate sanctuary for migratory birds. After a decade of environmental damage from salt intrusion from the Bay into the artificial freshwater habitat, USFWS opted to allow the marsh to revert to a salt and brackish system by implementing two dredging projects.

The Silver Environmental Excellence Award for Dredging for Coastal Reinforcement went to the project team for Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence in the Netherlands. Project Team Members were the consortium ZSNH Combinatie Van Oord – Boskalis.

The Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Defence, on the Netherlands’ North Sea coast, no longer met current government safety standards, that is, to be resistant to a once in 10,000 year super storm. As it was impossible to raise and widen the present dike, the Regional Water Board decided to reinforce the coastline by creating broad dunes and beaches. The consortium of Van Oord and Boskalis was responsible for the new coastal defenses, as well as their maintenance for the next 20 years.

By Larz Bourne