The Dredge Research Collaborative (DRC) is a group of practitioners and academics that investigates how dredge practices create places worth revaluing, interpreting, and integrating into larger existing social and ecological systems. While often overlooked or misunderstood, these places and processes go to the heart of many contemporary environmental, social, and economic issues including climatic changes, commercial and recreational navigation, habitat creation/protection, material recycling and legacy contamination. This work is done through publications, mappings, design explorations, and an event series entitled DredgeFest: Four Coasts.
The Four Coasts project is looking at dredging on the four coasts of the continental United States: East Coast, Gulf Coast, Great Lakes, West Coast. DredgeFest NYC was the first event, held in fall 2012, followed by DredgeFest Louisiana in January of 2014. Currently we are working with partners in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York to organize DredgeFest Great Lakes, to be held in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota, in August 2015. The event will bring together a wide range of experts, students, and interested members of the public for a symposium, field tours of dredge sites (include habitat restoration and public parks created from dredge material), and a series of focused design workshops addressing these issues. If you are interested in knowing more about Dredgefest, or finding out how you can participate in the workshops, please contact me or refer to the DRC website noted above.
The DRC is a true collaborative and as such my own role is often shifting. Currently I am working with Sean Burkholder of the University of Buffalo and our partners in Minnesota and Wisconsin to organize DredgeFest Great Lakes.