Business and Finance

WEDA Pacific Chapter Draws 110 Participants

The Western Dredging Association (WEDA) Pacific Chapter meeting was well attended with 110 participants including 15 Corps of Engineers employees. Held October 22 through 24 at the Arctic Club in Seattle the event included a day and a half of technical presentations an October 22 evening icebreaker and a field trip to the Boeing Museum of Flight where the group viewed the first jet Air Force One the SR-71 Blackbird and a Concorde.


In the Dome Room of the Arctic Club Steve Cappelino presents his talk on cement stabilization of oil-impacted dredged material.

October 22 included a Corps/contractors meeting a West Coast Ports meeting and a presentation of the COE 2015 federal dredging program on the West Coast and Hawaii.

Corps participation was organized by Mo Chang of the Los Angeles District coordinating with Cheryl Caruba of the Portland District who communicated with Corps headquarters presenting the program as providing important technical information and receiving approval for district employees to attend the meeting.

Outgoing president Marcel Hermans said “It was important to have the Corps there.”

Hermans opened the meeting by introducing Tom Verna who is taking over as WEDA executive director. Verna described the initiatives he will be focusing on as leader of the organization.

Talks were on a wide variety of topics concerning the West Coast. Presentations are listed though many papers had multiple authors.


The Pacific Chapter officers presented outgoing president Marcel Hermans with a plaque. Shown are from left Matt Arms Randy Steed Nick Buhbe Hermans Jayme Newbigging and Mo Chang.

They were: Investigation of an Automated Ullage Sensor as Hopper Dredge Payment Basis by Karen Garmire; the Dredge Oregon Repower by Walt Haynes and Doyle Anderson; the Everett Shipyard Cleanup and Marina Improvements by Erik Gerking; Analysis of Morphologic Effects for Maintenance of Channels in Tidal Estuaries by Joel Darnel; Cleanup of the Seattle East Waterway and Gas Works Park by Pete Rude; Using Cement for Stabilizing Oil-Impacted Dredged Material in Confined Disposal by Steve Cappelino; Endangered Species Protection for Dredging Projects by Josh Gravenmier; Support for Dredging Operations for Seven Small Ports on the Southern Oregon Coast by John Dawson; Esquimalt Graving Dock Waterlot Remediation Mega-Site Design Contracting and Construction Challenges by Dan Berlin; Implementing a Sediment Remediation Mega-Project at the Largest Deep-Sea Shipbuilding and Repair Facility on Canada’s Pacific Coast by Matt Woltman; Dredging with Tribal Partners by John A. Hicks; Shoalwater Bay Shoreline Protection Project on the Tokeland Peninsula by Randall Steed; Benefits of Mechanical Dewatering by Thomas Amaro; and Sediment Removal by Working with the Tides and a Modified Portadam by Becky Gerard.

Pacific Chapter officers include one representative each from a port the Corps of Engineers a dredging contractor a consultant and one floating member. Each serves five years on the chapter board starting out as program director. This year Matt Arms joined the board as program director and the other officers moved up a notch. For the coming year Jayme Newbigging of Manson is president; Mo Chang of the Los Angeles Engineer District is vice president; Randy Steed from Ross Island Sand & Gravel is secretary; and Nick Buhbe of Great Ecology is treasurer. Marcel Hermans received a plaque commemorating his service to the chapter as he left the board.

“We come together once a year and pull off the conference” Hermans said. “It’s all done by phone and email and the next time the officers meet will be the morning of the 2015 conference” he said.

The next meeting will be in the North Bay area around San Rafael in the first week of November 2015. The Corps has a scale model of the San Francisco Bay run by the San Francisco District which will likely be the destination of the field trip