[International workshop participants at DredgeFest Great Lakes develop tools to prototype new landforms that could be made from dredge material, and present concepts developed during a one-week intensive workshop]
The American Society of Landscape Architects just announced that our work at the Dredge Research Collaborative has been awarded a national honor award for the Four Coasts Project, which explores the historical and future impacts of dredging and sediment management along the four coasts of the Continental United States.
It's a tremendous honor, and a tribute to all of the great collaborators, sponsors, colleagues, students, interns, and workshop participants we've been able to work with along the way. This work is already spawning new innovative research projects such as the Port Futures project by myself and Sean Burkholder, and the excellent comparative scenario research underway by my colleagues Brett Milligan and Rob Holmes.
If there's one takeaway at the moment, it's that the anthropogenic sedimentary practice of dredging is one of the most important ways that landscapes are being both created and destroyed across the world. It is incredibly important for shipping, flood control, habitat restoration, coastal defense, and climate change adaptation. It is also often the cause of many flood events, environmental disasters, wetland loss, and accelerating maintenance budgets for ports, as dredging tends to beget a need for more dredging. Like with anything, it is critical to do it well, in accordance with a synthetic view and a holistic set of values. Landscape architecture may have a critical role to play in this. After working on this question intensely for several years now-- I believe it does.