Central Dredging Association

Understanding dredging

WODA/CEDA on practical and achievable monitoring of dredging at IMO's London Convention meeting

IMO’s London Convention - The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 in full - is one of the first global conventions to protect the marine environment from human activities. It has been in force since 1975 and is the most widely applicable international regulatory instrument. Some 90 States are parties to this Convention. In 1996, the ‘London Protocol’ was agreed to further modernise the Convention and, eventually, replace it. Currently there are about 50 parties to the Protocol. Read more about the London Convention & Protocol - LC/LP.

The official observer at the London Convention, and its Protocol, is the World Organization of Dredging Associations (WODA) – www.woda.org. CEDA often undertakes this work on behalf of WODA and actively participates in meetings, and relevant working groups, to provide independent expert advice and help shape policy development.

Charlotte Clark, Cefas, UK, is representing WODA/CEDA at the currently ongoing 42nd meeting of the Scientific Groups of the London Convention, and the 13th meeting of the London Protocol, in Vancouver, Canada, from 18-22 March 2019. The meeting is attended by experts responsible for the protection of the marine environment representing over 30 countries from all over the world, as well as non-governmental observers, among them WODA/CEDA.

The one-week agenda of the Scientific Groups meetings traditionally includes the Science Day which is always dedicated to a particular topic. This year’s topic is monitoring. Dr Mark Lee, member of the CEDA-IADC editorial board for the recently published CEDA-IADC book “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure”, and lead author of the chapter on monitoring, was one of the presenters during the day. In his presentation entitled “Pointers on Practical and Achievable Monitoring of Dredging from “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure”……. & Beyond …...!” he talked about:

  • Key principles for designing monitoring for dredging;
  • Why not losing sight of the science is essential for practical and achievable monitoring;
  • What is achievable in modern monitoring of dredging; and
  • What is likely to constitute practical and achievable monitoring of dredging in the near future.

Dredging and projects involving dredging can, and do, deliver both positive and negative impacts to the marine environment. Monitoring is fundamental to measuring impacts but, equally importantly, to managing dredging projects so that impacts are consistent with the project planning and licencing. High-quality monitoring is therefore essential for dredging to play its part in sustainable infrastructure development.” said Dr Lee.

He added, “The marine environment is a hostile place for undertaking monitoring and measurement, one might well question why we put sensitive electronic equipment into such environments and expect to get it (and data) back – but we do! Given this hostility, ensuring that monitoring is practical and achievable matters a great deal. Technological developments have changed the monitoring and management of dredging projects drastically in the last 10-15 years and those changes are on-going – we live in very interesting and dynamic times!”

Dr Lee concluded his presentation by giving a complimentary copy of "Dredging for Sustainable Indrastucture" to the chair of the London Convention Scientific Group, Ms nda Porebski, Environment Canada.

Dr Lee's presentation can be downloaded below.

2018-DfSI-MarkLee // dfsi-marklee.jpg (149 K)
Dr Lee at the CEDA-IADC conference “Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure”, last year, introducing his session on the closely linked subject, adaptive management.
(Photo by: Mees van den Eekart)

For an in-depth up-to-date discussion on monitoring, consult the book Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure. The two CEDA papers,  "Environmental monitoring procedures" and "Integrating adaptive environmental management into dredging projects" available here  also include a wealth of relevant knowledgeon these subjects.

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