The Real Benefit Of Becoming An Individual Member Of CEDA

Young CEDA pitch talks at the CEDA Dredging Days 2017 (Credit: CEDA)
Young CEDA pitch talks at the CEDA Dredging Days 2017 (Credit: CEDA)

Do you remember the beginning of my website two years ago? The first public posts on this website were about the CEDA Dredging Days 20171. It has been a long time since then. Back then, I couldn’t have guessed what direction this website would take. By now, this is my sixtieth post! Some memorable moment in itself. Still, I would like to do what I intended to do: share knowledge about dredging. And a preview on the next CEDA Dredging Days in Rotterdam2 is a fitting commemoration of all the other posts in between.

Off course, the renowned CEDA Dredging Days are a platform to meet people and exchange knowledge. Especially all the presentations. That everybody has been sweating on writing the manuscript. Reviewed by the scrutiny of the Technical Paper and Program committee3. From personal experience, I can tell you, there are a lot of interesting papers. You’ve had already a teaser on the presentation of Camille Kapela4, about the dredging project in Monaco5.

Camille Kapela at the CEDA Dredging Days 2017 (Credit: CEDA)
Camille Kapela at the CEDA Dredging Days 2017 (Credit: CEDA)

Another I would recommend is the presentation of my colleague Frank de Hoogh about the new MAD gravel hopper dredge6. It is not just another boat, it is a change of concept. And there are so many interesting innovations on this dredge, that it merits its own sneak preview.

Innovative Marine Aggregate Dredge for gravel dredging
Innovative Marine Aggregate Dredge for gravel dredging

But there are more interesting perspectives on the event. In contrast to other commercial conferences on dredging, this is like a gathering of a community. It is a place for all the commissions and working groups within CEDA to present their efforts and show the reports and results of their work. There is a presentation of the Working Group on contract selection7, an update from of the Working Group on soil investigation and an interactive session themed on the recently published book: ‘Dredging for Sustainable Infrastructure’8.

The interactive session at the previous CEDA Dredging Days (Credit: CEDA)
The interactive session at the previous CEDA Dredging Days (Credit: CEDA)

Above all, it is a social event. All the knowledge presented would be worthless, when there is no community that absorbs the produced information. Would discuss about the content, the feasibility and possible applications. And these discussions generate innovative ideas on the new insights from the presentations and meetings.

Sometimes, I am asked: ‘What good is it to be a CEDA member myself? I can get the benefits of the presentations, the reduced price and the drinks, through the membership of my company. Why would I throw out my personal money?’ Well, it is not about all that. It really is about people and building a community. Having a (small) personal investment brings you in the state of mind, that you belong to this wonderful community with its long history in shaping the world. And that is the real benefit of being an individual CEDA member9. With this personal contribution you can take part of shaping the future of the world.

Thursday evening is the big get together of the dredging community; meet you there! (Credit: CEDA)
Thursday evening is the big get together of the dredging community; meet you there! (Credit: CEDA)


  1. Countdown to the CEDA Dredging Days 2017, Discover Dredging
  2. CEDA Dredging Days 2019, CEDA
  3. Committees, CEDA
  4. Dredging in Monaco: challenges and solutions, CEDA
  5. CEDA DMC Visits the Anse du Portier Project in Monaco
  6. Next generation marine aggregate dredger as platform for innovation and basis for fleet renewal, CEDA
  7. Effective contract selection: CEDA’s guide to optimised contracting methods, CEDA
  8. Interactive session, CEDA
  9. Why join CEDA?, CEDA

See also

Happy 2019!

Post card picture of a Damen CSD500 at work.

Happy New Year! First of all, I would like to wish you: health, happiness and a year full of dredging action. And there will certainly be some dredging action. We will start this year with closing our ¡VAMOS! project and we will close off with another CEDA Dredging Days1, just as with which this blog started one year ago with a new year’s resolution.

Further topics will include the upcoming WODCON conference in Shanghai2, more CEDA Dredging Management Commission, some interesting book reviews and whatever happens along the way. Maybe I can get back on working on articles that explain interesting phenomena in dredging technology. Or just some funny experiences I had in our beautiful profession. There are so many memorable moments worth sharing for the general benefit.

And George Santayana has warned us to learn from the past: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’3 I don’t fancy that this site will be a monumental source of reference for posterity. There are much better institutes to store and share dredging knowledge. e.g. the CEDA comes to mind. It’s ‘a forum for all stakeholders involved in the dredging industry’4 and there are many working groups were the current knowledge is shared and stored in publications.

A much better place to look at a condensation of knowledge over a longer time span is the National Dredging Museum5. You might have noticed, that I am very fond of museums. I like to dwell through their expositions, relive the past and see the origins of current technologies. When I am trying to hatch some new sort of gizmo or gadget to perform a very peculiar dredging requirement, I can relate to all those branches of the technology tree, that are out there and see if there is something that can be combined in a new contraption.

Model of a ‘Krabbelaar’ or ‘Scratcher’ at the National Dredging Museum.

Sometimes you can recognize some technology in an exhibit, that was ahead of its time. Take this ‘Krabbelaar’ or ‘Scratcher’. It loosens the top layer of the sediment and expected it to flush out at the outgoing tide. Considering the enormous forces for cutting and internal friction, that have to be delivered by sail power, I doubt the production would make a viable business case. Nowadays, you would employ a dredge plough behind a tug6. Modern propulsion delivers the thrust needed for all requirements. Ploughing, scraping and smoothing has become much easier and modern hydrological simulations will give a better idea about the possible production and where the sediment will end up.

Example of a modern dredge plough, fitted on a Damen Stan Tug 1606.

Possibly our modern dredge plough technology will be surpassed by even better concepts. Maybe, regulations or fuel economy would direct us back again to a sustainable form of dredging management and the old scratcher makes a comeback in a modern form. And then, you know to find the origins in the National Dredging Museum.

I think, it is very important, we cherish our dredging heritage. For ourselves and for our posterity. Just as we support our trade associations, we should support the dredging museum. So, now I come back to my ‘new’ new year’s resolution: I will become patron7 to the National Dredging Museum. It is not much, but if it inspires you to do the same, we can make a difference together.

Collection of dredges.


  1. CEDA Dredging Days 2019, CEDA
  3. George Santayana, Wikipedia
  4. Our mission and strategy, CEDA
  5. National Dredging Museum
  6. Scrabster Harbour takes delivery of Damen Stan Tug 1606, Damen
  7. Sponsoring 2018, National Dredging Museum

See also

Ploughs, Beams and Rakes, IADC




Book Review: The World In A Grain

Cover page The World In A Grain by Vince Beiser.

Last Saturday, a special Dutch season started: Sinterklaas1. He traditionally arrives in a steam ship in some camera pleasing port and starts his tour through the country. Eventually he commemorates his name day (December 6th) by leaving presents for all children on the eve before. Usually this is celebrated with children and/or parents giving each other presents in elaborate packaging and clumsy rhymes. So, this might be a good occasion to recommend a book for your wish list.

Somewhere I found a copy of ‘The World in a Grain’ by Vince Beiser2. Actually, it was the subtitle, ‘The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization’ that caught my attention. As you may have noticed, I am very interested in sand. And, it is good, to occasionally take a step back and contemplate how our product contributes to civilisation and the world as we know it.

Photo of American-Canadian journalist Vince Beiser (Credit: Wikipedia).

Vince Beiser3 is an American-Canadian journalist and the book is easy to read. The chapters are arranged to the subject where sand is coming from and its contribution to society. Beginning with the origin of sand, the erosion of rock, and the locations where it ends up and can be extracted. The most basic application of sand is construction sand to create infrastructure: reclaimed land, ballast material for roads and railways, general landscaping etc. Than, the applications become more refined: concrete, asphalt, fracking, foundries, glass making, eventually all the way to high end products as computer chips and smart phones. Each application requiring its own type of sand.

Soil sample exhibit at the Damen Dredging Experience.

Proceeding through the book, you will be surprised about how dependent we’ve become on such a small unit of our universe. And that is exactly where Beiser is alarming us about. Not only that at some point in the future, sand will become a scarce commodity, it already is. As with all scarce materials, they become precious and attract activity that is not always benefitting all stakeholders. This usually involves violence and crime. And Beiser has been exploring this dark side of the trade for his book.

His experience as criminal-justice journalist has helped him to uncover social injustice, where some greedy individuals were profiting from resources that ought to serve the wellbeing of all mankind. Beautiful beaches that have been scooped away. Rivers that changed their course and deprived communities from irrigation. Pastoral landscape, that was torn up and left behind devastated. He visited some sites and spoke to victims and activists. At some occasions, he was even threatened himself.

Progressing through the book, I even felt ashamed that I was taking part in an industry that allegedly rapes nature and deprives future generations of their rightful heritage. He reported severe cases from undeveloped countries, but even well-known names in our dredging industry have been mentioned. According to Beiser, there is no direct solution, as the demand is still on the rise, but I think there is: cooperation in governance. Share with others the experience on sand mining, the market possibilities and communicate with all stakeholders involved. Personally, I am involved in CEDA4, but there are many more platforms: IADC, EuDA, EMSAGG, PIANC etc. And as always: think about what you are doing and what does it leave future generations with.

OK, one last bonus link for those who don’t like reading a whole book. I think the producers of the Dutch children’s TV show ‘Buitendienst’5, last Friday, have been reading this book also.

Het grote zandmysterie (Credit: De Buitendienst).


  1. Sinterklaas, Wikipedia
  2. The World in a Grain, Amazon
  3. Vince Beiser, Wikipedia
  4. Dredging Management Commission, CEDA
  5. Het grote zandmysterie, NPO Zapp

See also