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President's report 44th Annual General Meeting


The 44th Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 24 November 2022. Since not all members were able to attend, we would like to share the president’s report which summarises the activities and status of CEDA in 2021.

Dredging Days
Last year’s AGM took place during the Dredging Days. Originally it was planned as an in-person event, but, unfortunately, due to covid, the decision had to be made to hold a virtual event instead. Quite a few of our new ideas could be implemented, but not all obviously. It has been decided that the next Dredging Days will take place in the Spring of 2024. The format originally planned for 2021 will be used as a basis for this event.

In 2021 we continued working on WODCON XXIII, which was held in May this year, in Copenhagen. I am happy to report that the event was a huge success. With 400 participants, 35 exhibitors and 15 sponsors, all coming from a total of 22 countries, it was a wonderful post COVID reunion of the dredging community with a lot of great content and plenty of networking opportunities. The financial result was also very positive, enabling CEDA to continue it’s activities and implement new ideas in the years to come.

Membership Questionnaire
As part of the exercise to rethink CEDA’s strategy and business model, a survey was held to understand whether the activities that CEDA undertakes, and the outputs that CEDA provides, are what you want and need. It was also an opportunity for us to hear your new and innovative ideas for how we could do better and do more for our members. A total of 116 submissions were received. Results showed that 72% of the respondents viewed CEDA as good or excellent value for money, only 4% thought the value was poor. The survey showed that the most important benefits of CEDA membership were networking, business development and informing the dredging community of the latest developments within the industry. Dredging Days and National Section events were also much appreciated. What also came out of the survey was that CEDA should be more visible, provide more public/private connections and do more on sustainability. The CEDA strategy commission will discuss these new ideas and make suggestions to the board on how to move forward.

CEDA currently has 6 commissions plus Young CEDA, which report to the CEDA Board.

Strategy Commission
Communications Commission
Dredging Management Commission
Environment Commission
Educational Activities Commission
Decarbonisation Commission

The last commission, the CEDA Commission on Decarbonisation (CCD) was established at the end of 2021. The CCD will act as a platform to collectively and regularly gain and share insight on how the dredging industry may be fueled in, say, 15 years’ time, and what this would mean in practice. This insight will contribute to developing policies and/or deciding investments in future times.

Working Groups
Within the commissions, we have several active working groups:

Soil Investigation - A CEDA information paper has been published in April 2021.
Certification of Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure Projects –Recommendations to the board before the end of 2022.
Energy Efficiency – information paper to be published at the end of 2022.
Seafloor Integrity – information paper to be published at the end of 2022.
Adaptive Management – information paper to be published in 2023.
Early Contractor Involvement – established in 2022.
Subsea Cables Integrity – established in 2022.

There is also a joint PIANC-CEDA-IADC Working Group on environmental windows.

During WODCON XXII in Shanghai, China, in 2019, the three associations making up WODA (CEDA, EADA, and WEDA) decided to set up WODA working groups to jointly address topics of common interest. Currently, there are three WODA Working Groups:

WODA Reservoir Dredging Working Group
WODA Safety in Dredging Working Group
WODA Working Group on Deep Sea Mining

Financing Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure
In the fall of 2021, we published a joint study “Financing Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure” with IADC and our finance partners. We also presented a well-attended panel discussion at the CEDA Dredging Days 2021 and we set up a CEDA Working Group on Certification of Sustainable Marine and Fresh Water Infrastructure Projects. The Working Group has conducted many interviews and what became clear is that the need for certification is present but that CEDA is not necessarily seen as the right body to conduct the certification since we could not be seen as independent. The Working Group is currently working on creating a report with suggestions to the board on how to move forward.

Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure
Our continued co-operation with IADC included the development of the CEDA-IADC course “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure” based on our joint book with the same title. Over the last 2 years, we presented 4 online courses. The first live course will take place from 13-14 December 2022 at the HR Wallingford Head Office in Oxfordshire (UK). There are still a few places available so we encourage you to sign up.

CEDA – IADC factsheets
Also based on the book “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure”, CEDA and IADC have published a series of factsheets:

Environmental Monitoring 2020
Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials 2021
Creating a Sustainable Marine and Freshwater Infrastructure 2022
Models and Modelling for Dredging 2022

In 2021 we extended our service to members by acquiring “Dredgepoint”, the huge online database of dredging equipment. A group of volunteers is keeping the website up to date. The visitor statistics are steadily growing.

CEDA Innovation Pitch Talks
In November 2021, during Europort, we added a new event to our event palette: the CEDA Innovation Pitch Talks. In 2 afternoons, 24 CEDA corporate members gave short, 15-minute presentations on a great variety of topics including groundbreaking challenging projects and innovative products. Different from other CEDA conference presentations, by design, these innovation pitch talks may promote the company itself and/or products and/or services delivered. Even though the Dredging Days are currently not connected to Europort, we will continue to participate in Europort and organise CEDA activities during the show.

Policy Work
The collective knowledge of the CEDA membership has helped it to remain a well-respected and independent authority on dredging. As such, CEDA regularly gives expert advice to government and international regulatory bodies on issues related to dredging. Our aim is to ensure that any legislation pertaining to dredging and hydraulic construction, as well as disposal or placement of dredged sediments, is based on sound technical and scientific knowledge, takes account of best practice, and is ultimately workable. As an impartial organisation, CEDA does not engage in lobbying. We attend relevant meetings of these bodies, provide expert comment on draft documents, submit technical, scientific documents, and contribute to working groups, drafting groups and debates.

We are currently active in the following international organisations:
London Convention
European Commission (MSFD, WFD)
International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)

On a national level, the UK section plays an active role in the development of relevant UK legislation. Through WODA, we are an observer at the International Seabed Authority (ISA) since this year.

We are happy to report that Arjan Wijdeveld, Geochemical Expert at Deltares, will be the new CEDA representative for OSPAR in the Working Group on Environmental Impact of Human Activities. Unfortunately, we have not yet been successful in the search for a new chair of the MSFD Navi group. This is also a very important position to CEDA and its members, so please think carefully if you know anyone suitable for this position and if so, please reach out to Mieke van Loenen.

New staff
In 2021 we started the search for new staff, as both the General Manager and the Secretary were approaching retirement. Mieke van Loenen became CEDA’s General Manager on 1st of January 2022, whilst Anna continued to work with CEDA, in a part-time management advisory capacity, until June 2022. With Mieke’s help, we concluded the search for Yvonne Duivenman’s successor in January 2022 and Linda Adams started to work at the CEDA Secretariat in March 2022.

Financial report
At the end of 2021, CEDA had 271 individual members including 4 students, 6 starters, 17 retired members and 5 lecturers at colleges or universities, this was 49 less than in 2020. At the end of last year, we had 110 corporate members, 2 more than in 2020. The number of individual members is decreasing every year, while the number of corporate members – with some small fluctuation - remains more or less steady. We ended the year with a deficit. This is due to the following:
• Higher staff cost: Replacement Anna started in October 2021, so there were three staff members in the last couple of months. This was not budgeted for.
• Purchase of dredgepoint website: This purchase was not originally budgeted for.
• The Dredging Days made a higher loss than expected but this loss was taken from the special reserves.

Board of Directors
According to the rotation policy, no members of the Board are due to retire in 2022. However, the following 3 members have indicated they will be leaving the board, so we are currently seeking replacements for:
• Claudia Flecken, Port of Hamburg, Germany
• Jan Vandenbroeck, Societe Dragages, France
• Wim Klomp, Royal HaskoningDHV, the Netherlands