A new WEDA era - message from our sister association
5 March 2014
This is a message from the WEDA President to provide you with an update on several significant and exciting developments happening at WEDA since their annual meeting in August, 2013.
The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) is a sister association of CEDA, under WODA, the World Organisation of Dredging Associations. The third association in WODA is EADA the EAstern Dredging Association.
WEDA is a non-profit professional organization that fosters the knowledge and understanding of dredging throughout the western hemisphere. WEDA's overarching goal is to provide a forum for communication and discussion, technology transfer, and cooperation among the dredging industry, researchers, educators, consultants, ports and harbor authorities, agencies (including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and others), trade associations, societies and other organizations interested in dredging, navigation, marine engineering and construction. It promotes and emphasizes the critical importance of dredging as it relates to economic development, while emphasizing protection of the marine environment.
Following is a summary of key WEDA developments, for your information:
- Last year, we revised and updated our organization's bylaws, with a focus on advancing WEDA's objectives related to technology transfer, a venue for open communications and debate, and cooperation across sister organizations, both in Western hemisphere, as well as around the globe.
- We now have a highly involved Board of Directors, and they have volunteered considerable amount of time towards many initiatives and committees. We have recently formed several committees with active board participation, as summarized below.
- We are now taking advantage of our website with a much more robust communication filter and more frequent updates to the site information. We intend to do much more, so stay tuned. (Maybe, there would even be a possibility to purchase WEDA gear in the near future!)
- We have started the process of seriously revamping our conferences, by gathering and incorporating feedback from our members for planning of future conferences.
- Our annual conferences will now include technically relevant site tours (either pre- or post- conference, including this year's Hamilton Harbor site visit, one of Canada's premier environmental projects.
- In the very near future, we will add short, pre-conference workshops on technical and practical topics so that our members can obtain even more value from our conferences.
- Last, but not least, we will be rebranding our conferences, starting in Toronto, to more appropriately reflect our mission. Accordingly, the Toronto Conference shall be named, "Dredging Summit and Expo 2014", organized by the Western Dredging Association and Texas A&M University Center for Dredging Studies
- All future annual meetings will have a similar branding name, with the year updated, and reflect added emphasis on quality technical papers, specially invited project case studies, environmental and safety discussions, pre-conference workshops, post-conference technical tours, and an expanded exhibit focus.
- In 2014 and beyond, we will be embarking on several new missions, to open new doors of international cooperation and market exposure to our members. Specifically, we will start by focusing on our Canadian partners with our 2014 conference and additional efforts to better connect with the dredging community in the Latin American countries.
- Other initiatives include the creation of our "Events Committee", whose charge is to focus on identifying best and most appropriate marine-themed venues for our annual meetings and identifying technical and cultural tours as part of those meetings. Already, the committee has made significant strides, and we are pleased to report the following:
- The "Dredging Summit and Expo 2014" is developing into a strong conference in Toronto, with a huge response to our call for papers, and associated technical program.
- We are pleased to announce that the "World Dredging Congress XXI" will be held in Miami in 2016. A very strong technical and cultural program is being developed - more on that soon.
- The events committee is very close to finalizing an interesting venue for our Dredging Summit and Expo 2015, which will have a very strong Latin American market focus!
- We will also continue to publish electronically, our WEDA Journal of Dredging, twice per year, but with renewed focus on the dredging industry and dredging research.
- We have also created several other initiatives, to name a few,
- The Annual Awards Committee
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Committee, and,
- The Newsletter & Communications Committee
- Last, but not least, our long time Executive Director, Larry Patella, after his many years of service to the organization, will be transitioning into a "Consultant" role after the Toronto conference. We have initiated the search for a new "Executive Director" for the organization to fill this vacated position. More on that will be announced soon as well.
As you can see from this note, exciting times lie ahead for WEDA. We hope that you, as a member and friend of WEDA, will join our active Board in advancing these initiatives that are so vital to the continued economic development of trade around the western hemisphere, and even around the globe!
Chairman & President WEDA