Dredging Creates a Strong Economy and a Cleaner Environment

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WEDA Environmental Commission Charter

Signed by William F. Pagendarm, Chairman, 1994


Promote communication and understanding of environmental issues and stimulate new solutions associated with dredging and placement of dredged materials such that dredging projects, including navigation and remediation dredging, are accomplished in an efficient manner while meeting environmental goals.


Environmental considerations are key factors at the conceptual planning stage and in decision-making on dredging and placement of dredged material.

Dredging and placement of dredged material can be carried out in environmentally sound manner.

Dredging is a key to the economic health of ports and harbors and to the use of the intermodal transportation system.

A balance between protection of the environment and the economic well being of ports and harbors can be achieved without sacrifice of environmental goals.

To protect and enhance the environment as well as achieve progress towards economic goals, dredged material should be used as a beneficial resource whenever feasible.

Assessment of the potential risks to human and ecological health of dredging and placement of dredged materials should be based upon good science. Where additional scientific support and information are needed, research should be undertaken to fill in the gaps.

Public education of the benefits of dredging and the potential risks of placement alternatives will assist in effective decision-making on dredging projects.

Long term management strategies for dredging and placement of dredged material are critical for effective planning and implementation of maritime projects.

To reduce harbor sediment contamination, development of dredged material management plans should follow a watershed protection approach, i.e., to identify point and non-point sources of contaminants in the watershed and work with various local efforts to control those sources.

Early public discussion/debate of pertinent issues is encouraged and all interested parties should be involved in the planning process.


The Western Dredging Association(WEDA) is a technical, non-profit, professional organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge on all aspects of dredging from engineering design to management and monitoring of dredged material placement.

The objectives of the Environmental Commission of WEDA include the following:

  1. Promote interactions between all of the stakeholders in dredging activities to foster enhanced understanding of the environmental issues and concerns and to stimulate solutions.
  2. Promote a thorough understanding of environmental issues and concerns and identify solutions through technical transfer mechanisms, including presentation of papers at the annual WEDA National Meeting.
  3. Encourage and assist WEDA Chapters in advancing the understanding of environmental issues through identification of local issues and stakeholders and presentation of papers at the annual Chapter Meetings.
  4. Promote enrollment of new members to WEDA of people that are interested in environmental issues associated with dredging and placement of dredged material.
  5. Develop an environmental policy statement that adopts the principles outlined above and that WEDA would embrace to encourage environmentally sound dredging and placement of dredged material.
  6. Develop and implement an action agenda that carries out the environmental policy looking towards early identification of issues and innovative solutions.
  7. Serve as a forum for communication/understanding/resolution of environmental issues associated with dredging and placement of dredged material, and, as needed, develop WEDA reports, position papers, technical papers, or summary documents for the objective of advancement of knowledge to all interested parties.
  8. Promote communication on common environmental issues with the World Organization of Dredging Associations(i.e., the Eastern and Central Dredging Associations) and with other professional organizations including PIANC`s Permanent Environmental Commission.


Members of the WEDA Environmental Commission represent a broad array of WEDA membership including but not limited to the following: federal, state, and local government; environmental interest groups; ports, dredging and shipping interests, and equipment manufacturers; and consultants and academia.

Members and their alternates will be selected by the Chair of the Environmental Commission, who is selected by the WEDA Board of Directors. Terms of members and the Chair will be three years; terms can be renewed for an additional period(s) of one, two, or three years by the Chair of the Environmental Commission and the Chair of the WEDA Board of Directors, respectively.


The WEDA Environmental Commission will meet at least once annually at the Annual WEDA National Meeting. Special meetings may be called during the year, most likely in conjunction with a WEDA Chapter meeting or other major meetings.

Subcommittees can be established to assist in carrying out the work of the Commission; similarly, the Chair of the Commission can establish other positions, such as Vice-Chair, to assist in management of Commission activities. The WEDA Environmental Commission operates within the bylaws and guidelines of WEDA and receives directions and guidance from the WEDA Board of Directors. The Chair of the Environmental Commission shall present the status of the Commission activities at the annual Board of Directors meeting.