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7th International SedNet conference on 6-9 April 2011, Venice, Italy

Special sessions:
1. Sustainable dredging of Mediterranean Ports: the future for sediment management
2. Sediments in a changing environment
3. Dredged material assessment nowadays and in the future
4. The importance of sediments for biodiversity

1. Sustainable dredging of Mediterranean Ports: the future for sediment management
Co-organised with ISPRA (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research)
Chairmen morning session: Axel Netzband, Hamburg Port Authority, Germany /
Bernardo De Bernardinis, ISPRA President, Italy
The main objective of the Integrated Maritime Policy (COM(2007) 575 final and SEC(2007) 1278), is to maximise the use of the sea whilst maintaining a viable sustainable environment. This goal can only be achieved if account is taken of the impact of the different policies that are deployed on the seas, be it environment, transport, energy, research, fisheries, security, etc. This requires cross-border and cross-sectoral work. The Mediterranean partner countries have expressed a keen interest in developing an integrated maritime policy for the whole of the Mediterranean basin, and not only the EU part. This is the framework where port dredging and related sediment management must be seen, being a clear example where socio-economic necessity and environmental safeguarding must be reconciled in integrated sustainable solutions.
Presently, International Conventions dealing with dredging and sediment management are active in the Mediterranean Sea, in addition to the legislation in force at national level.The aims of the Session are to:

  • define the overall framework and the needs for sediment management at the country and basin scale;
  • present and discuss how dredging is affecting port sustainable development and the implementation of IMP;
  • review the legislation in force and analyse differences and gaps;
  • review and compare practices and solutions adopted and discuss how to promote the diffusion of Best Management Practices;
  • point out open issues and make recommendations for future actions.

The Session involved scientists, administrators, public and private stakeholders and case studies from different countries were presented, mainly from the Mediterranean area. The round table discussion that concluded the Session discussed how sediment management is important/crucial for port activities and development and which approaches should be followed to solve present limitations and to promote sustainable solutions, reconciling environmental, social and economical demands.

Welcome and Setting the scene
Patrizio Cuccioletta, Venice Water Authority President, Italy
Introduction to the Session
Bernardo De Bernardinis, ISPRA President
Dredging and sediment management – the significance for the European Port Sector and the Mediterranean Ports
Marc Eisma, on behalf of the European Sea Ports Organisation
1. Regulatory aspects of sediment management in the EU
2. Sustainable dredging of Mediterranean Ports : the future for sediment management – Regulatory aspects of Sediment Management in the EU
3. Specific guidelines for assesment of dredged material
Ann Carette, University of Antwerp / Flemish Environment Agency, Belgium
How can science inform the pathway toward more harmonized environmentally safe and sustainable solutions?
Andrea Barbanti, Thetis / SedNet steering group, Italy

Stakeholder forum
Informing sound practice in managing sediments: focusing 125 years of international experience through PIANC’s Environmental Commission
Sustainable management of dredged sediments
Polite Laboyrie, Chairman CEDA Environment Commission
The role of Environmental Agencies and Research Institutions for sustainable sediment management
Elena Romano, ISPRA, Italy
Dredging and remediation of Porto Marghera industrial canals in the context of Italian port dredging needs and practices
Roberto Casarin, Porto Marghera Commissary, Italy
and Emanuele Zanotto, Venice Port Authority, Italy

Chairman afternoon session: Andrea Barbanti, Thetis, Italy
Case studies
The experience in sediment management of the Ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp
Marco Wensveen, Port of Rotterdam Authority, NL
Axel Netzband, Port of Hamburg Authority, Germany
Agnès Heylen, Port of Antwerp Authority, Belgium
Dredging sediment management in Slovenia
Franca Cepak, Port of Koper, Slovenia
Management of sediments dredged in ports and harbours in Greece
Michael Aftias, YDRONOMI Consulting Engineers and Maria Georgiadou, Greek Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, Greece
Dredging and regional sediment management in the USA
Linda Lillycrop, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center – Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, USA

Round table discussion
Round table discussion with representatives of administrations, agencies, and stakeholders:
Philippe Bourdeau – Université libre de Brussels
Todd Bridges – PIANC (The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure)
Paolo Costa – Venice Port Authority
Luciano Guerrieri – Assoporti – Association of Italian Ports
Francesco Karrer – High Council of Public Works
Polite Laboyrie – CEDA (Central Dredging Association)
Marco Lupo – Italian Ministry of the Environment
Massimo Gabellini – Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, ISPRA
Massimo Montevecchi – Sidra-DEME (Dredging, Environmental & Marine Engineering Contractor)Moderator: Marc Eisma, Port of Rotterdam Authority, NL / SedNet steering group
Reporter: Luciano De Propris, MATTM-ISPRA, ItalyDownload:
Presentation Todd Bridges (PIANC)
Presentation Paolo Costa (Venice Port Authority)
Presentation Polite Laboyrie (CEDA)
Final outcomes

You can download here the conclusions and the summary
2. Sediments in a changing environment
Chairman: Eric de Deckere, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Suspended sediments are exposed to permanently changing conditions – during sedimentation-resuspension cycles and during their transport from rivers to the sea. Oxygen concentration, temperature, salinity, exposure to light – they will all have some impact on mobility and availability of contaminants that at some stage have been adsorbed to sediment surfaces.
The amount of suspended sediment as well as its quality may change with a changing climate. More extreme floods will resuspend more sediment and from deeper and thus more contaminated layers. In some areas, sediments may be exposed to longer dry phases, when water levels in lakes and rivers are reduced during droughts.
Knowledge on the impact of these changing environmental conditions on bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants should help us to link sediment quality to ecosystem protection criteria, as well as linking river basin target values to marine target values.

Six 10 minute statements were given by invited experts on the impact of environmental parameters on bioavailability of particle bound contaminants – relating laboratory results to field conditions – what do we know, what do we not know?
The parameters covered included organics and metals, effects of increased temperature, wet-dry cycles, light exposure, oxygen content.Invited experts:
Sabine Apitz, SEA Environmental Decisions, UK
Tim Iannuzzi, Arcadis, USA
Andrew Hursthouse, University of the West of Scotland, UK
David Paterson, University of St. Andrews, UK
Dick Bakker, Deltares, NL
Günther Eichweber, Waterway and Shipping Administration, Germany
And also:
Eric de Deckere, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Susanne Heise, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Small discussion groups were formed, each addressing a different aspect of climate change such as increased frequency of riverine high water discharges; salinity changes due to rising sea levels; increased light intensity for intertidal areas; increased plankton blooms and how they =affect the transport of contaminants etc. Each group identified appropriate cases (where do these conditions apply? Which part of what river?) and summarized the discussion with bullet points.Presentations
Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4

You can download here the conclusions and the summary
3. Dredged material assessment nowadays and in the future
Chairman: Peter Heininger, Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany – Introduction
The complex network of navigation routes between coastal ports forms a foundation of our economies, and the dependence on seas and waterways has been vital to the economic success and social progress of most countries worldwide. At the same time a deep awareness of needs for protecting and working with the environment exists, which is reflected by several European Framework Directives. These socio-economic and ecological objectives may be in conflict. Given that international trade continues to expand, increased demands both in terms of socio-economy and environment will be placed on European ports.
Dredging is one of the core activities in order to maintain and develop ports, harbours and navigable waterways. Globally, many hundreds of millions of cubic metres of sediment are dredged annually, mostly in coastal areas. There are many ways that dredging and disposal may affect the environment. The overall management goal of any dredging project should be to achieve a sustainable solution, weighing and balancing all the associated risks and benefits. Thus, dredged material assessment nowadays has to account for the environmental, social and financial consequences of an intended dredging project.
Starting with a concise description of the state of knowledge, this special session intended to exchange European experience with dredged material assessment and to define further development needs in this field.
Setting the scene
Current approach to dredged material assessment in England and Wales
Chris Vivian, Cefas, UK
Dredged material assessment in the US: moving toward risk-informed decision making
Todd Bridges, USACE-ERDC, USA
SMOCS – a participatory approach to establish guidelines for dredged material assessment
Wolfgang Ahlf, TU Hamburg-Harburg, Germany
European experience
Short statements from European countries each addressing maximum 3 major problems from the respective national perspective.
– The Netherlands – Pol Hakstege (Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment)
– Germany – Birgit Schubert (Federal Institute of Hydrology)
– Denmark – Jane Brons-Hansen (Ministry of Environment)
– France – Joel L’Her (CETMEF/DELCE)
– UK – Chris Vivian (Cefas)
– Italy – Serena Geraldini (ISPRA)
Audience discussion
Key problems derived during the session and the need for improvements/progress/actions will be discussed; moderated by DGE representativesSynthesis and agreement on taking the process forward

You can download here the conclusions and the summary
4. The importance of sediment for biodiversity
Chairman: Adriaan Slob, TNO, NL
Download here the programm and introduction of this special session.
“Sediment forms a variety of habitats. Many aquatic species live in the sediment. Microbial processes cause regeneration of nutrients and important functioning of nutrient cycles for the whole water body. Sediment dynamics and gradients (wet-dry and fresh-salt) form favorable conditions for a large range of biodiversity.” This was already stated in 2004 in the SedNet booklet. Thus for SedNet it is already clear from its origin that sediment is of crucial importance for biodiversity. However, so far SedNet did not attempt to further underpin this statement with ‘facts & figures’. Such underpinning of the importance of sediment for biodiversity may enable more and better attention to sediment management by policymakers and management. Hereby we also recognise that halting of biodiversity loss, and thus the degradation of ecosystem services, has moved to the core of EU environmental policy making. It is against this background that this special session was organized.
Opening and welcome, outline and objectives of this session
Adriaan Slob, TNO, NL
Fresh water sediments and biodiversity
Alan Covich, INTECOL President, University of Georgia, USA
Estuarine sediments and biodiversity: the Venice lagoon as example
Stefano Guerzoni and Davide Tagliapietra, ISMAR-CNR, Italy
Physical and biogeochemical processes as building blocks for maintaining sediment biodiversity in coastal environments
Kate Spencer, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Panel en audience discussion

You can download here the conclusions and the summary