Newsletter - July 2011

Website: www.sednet.org
Compiled by: Marjan Euser (marjan.euser@deltares.nl)
Subscription Service: SedNet Secretariat (marjan.euser@deltares.nl)
Disclaimer: SedNet is not responsible for faults due to incorrectness of info in this newsletter
Previous issues: www.sednet.org


7th SedNet conference 6-9 April 2011:
Sediments and Biodiversity: bridging the gap between science and policy
Rijkswaterstaat joins SedNet Steering Group
Joint development of a practical sediment management training course by UNESCO ISI and SedNet
Marine sediment data
ELSA - a project to support remediation of contaminated Elbe sediments
Sand extraction in the Mediterranean
International River Foundation (IRF)
Upcoming events

7th SedNet conference 6-9 April 2011:
Sediments and Biodiversity: bridging the gap between science and policy

The SedNet conference held in April was a big success. More than 250 delegates from 25 countries attended the event. You can find reports of sessions and abstracts and slides of presentations on www.sednet.org.

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

Main conference sessions
1. Opening session
2. Biodiversity: from the mountain to the sea
3. Biodiversity at risk
4. Management and policy – case studies
5. River Basin Management / Coastal Zone Management
6. Monitoring / Modelling

Poster session
1. Biodiversity / Risk Assessment
2. Policy and Management
3. Monitoring / Modelling

Poster Award
The best poster was awarded with a prize sponsored by the Journal of Soils and Sediments.
The winning poster was "River Sediment Sampling and Sediment Environmental Quality Standards" presented by Ngozi Mokwe-Ozonzeadi of the University of Westminister / Natural History Museum, UK.

An excursion to the MOSE defence system was part of the program. MOSE is being built for the complete defence of Venice and of the inhabited areas of the lagoon from high tides of every level, including extreme events. The defence system was created and the solution was chosen after the evaluation of numerous hypotheses. The defence system includes mobile flood gates at the three lagoon inlets, in order to isolate the lagoon from the sea in the case of tides higher than the pre-established height and a series of complementary measures capable of abating the level of the most frequent tides in the area. Contemporaneously, morphological restoration works are being realized in the most deteriorated areas, using the material obtained from dredging at the three inlets, when compatible with the lagoon environment. Work has been proceeding in parallel at the three inlets and it is 63% completed.
For detailed info about MOSE please surf to www.salve.it.

Photo impressions
Conference dinner


Rijkswaterstaat joins SedNet Steering Group

SedNet are very pleased to announce that Rijkswaterstaat of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has rejoined the SedNet Steering Group and will give financial support. Rijkswaterstaat will be represented by Richard Eertman (Centre for Water Management) and Pol Hakstege (Centre for Infrastructure).

Rijkswaterstaat is the executive organisation of the Ministry that manages and develops the main infrastructure in the Netherlands. Rijkswaterstaat works to prevent flooding and to ensure sufficient and clean water, a smooth and safe flow of transport on the nations roads and waterways, as well as reliable and useful information. Both the Centre for Water Management and the Centre for Infrastructure have expertise in the field of sediment management, dredging, as well as policy and regulation.

The decision to rejoin the Steering Group was taken during the last SedNet conference in Venice following talks with other members of the Steering Group. Rijkswaterstaat’s participation in the Steering Group ended temporarily a few years ago, when Piet den Besten left Rijkswaterstaat and took up another position. SedNet is an important platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences between policy, practice and science, which is certainly of interest to Rijkswaterstaat. Sediment management is considered from a broad perspective, which is complementary to the ‘Dredging in Europe’ network, which focuses primarily on practical issues. Due to its objectives and scientifically based approach SedNet has good contacts with the European Commission to advice on workable and effective European legislation, which is also very much in the interest of Rijkswaterstaat. Another advantage to rejoin SedNet is the opportunity to exchange best practices on sediment management and dredging activities. Rijkswaterstaat promotes sustainable solutions and supports the ‘Working with Nature’ or Eco-Engineering approach. Richard and Pol have the intention to play an active role in the Steering Group with commitment of other experts from Rijkswaterstaat.

Richard Eertman (richard.eertman@rws.nl) and Pol Hakstege (pol.hakstege@rws.nl) from Rijkswaterstaat


Joint development of a practical sediment management training course by UNESCO ISI and SedNet


There are no examples yet of the fully fledged integration of sediment management into Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM, see: www.gwp.org). This was a key driver of the initiation of ISI (www.irtces.org/isi) as well as SedNet (www.sednet.org).

The International Sediment Initiative (ISI) was launched by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP). ISI promotes sustainable sediment management at the global scale in an effort to contribute to sustainable water resources management. The initiative assesses erosion and sediment transport by rivers to lakes, reservoirs and marine environments, aimed at the creation of a holistic approach for the remediation and conservation of surface waters. ISI aims to develop a decision support framework for sediment management, in order to provide guidance on legislative and institutional solutions, applicable to various socio-economic and physiographic settings, in the context of global changes.

SedNet is a leading European network aimed at incorporating sediment issues and knowledge into relevant European and national policies, in order to support the achievement of good environmental status and to develop and facilitate the implementation of new tools for sediment management. SedNet brings together sediment professionals from science, administration, management, NGOs, consultancy and industry.

ISI and SedNet are convinced that a dedicated, practical training course on sustainable sediment management will be an important tool for promoting the further integration of sediment into IWRM. ISI and SedNet – each with their own perfectly complementary perspectives and areas of interest – can bring together the state-of-art in scientific as well as practical knowledge on sustainable sediment management. ISI and SedNet now offer to make that knowledge available for the joint development of such a training course.

A delegation of ISI and of SedNet will meet on 18 and 19 August in Paris at UNESCO HQ to bring this idea to a next level. In the Paris meeting, the delegates will, amongst others, discuss, digest and then propose the potential topics to be addressed in the course and will agree upon a proposed outline for the course. Furthermore, the delegates will refine a roadmap for the development and testing of the training course and will discuss funding possibilities.

Anil Mishra (a.mishra@unesco.org)  on behalf of UNESCO ISI, and Jos Brils (jos.brils@deltares.nl)  on behalf of SedNet, will keep you informed on the further development of this joint initiative.


Marine sediment data

As part of the research project MDI-DE (www.mdi-de.org) it is aimed to establish a web portal for the display of various marine data, based on web services. Amongst others, these data comprise bottom sediment configurations and other sediment data, for instance from the AufMod Project (www.kfki.de/prj-aufmod/de). For a proper display, the project team are searching for possible standardised depictions of sediment data.
If you know of any standards or conventions concerning the display of sediment data in terms of colour scales or parameter classes, please contact the project team.
If you are not aware of such standards or conventions, do you think there is a need for a standardisation or do you rather think tasks are too diverse?

You can send your input to:
Christoph Wosniok
Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute
Office Hamburg
Tel.: + 49 (0)40 81908 352


ELSA - a project to support remediation of contaminated Elbe sediments

The In the SedNet Round Table report on River Basin Sediment Management in 2009 it is reported that one of the significant water management issues in the first River Basin Management Plan for the Elbe is:

“Significant contaminant loads belong to the most important supra-regional issues in water-resources management. The management plan underlines that contaminated sediments are one of the major reasons of this dissatisfying situation. Accordingly, one of the objectives is to establish a management concept for particle-bound contaminants at river-basin scale within the first management period.”

With the first international assessment of the Elbe water quality in 1990 an additional classification with the label “destroyed by very strong organic pollution” had to be introduced. Since then contamination of Elbe sediments has decreased significantly. Nevertheless, Elbe fish still cannot be recommended for human consumption without restrictions, agricultural products in the flood plains are still exposed to contamination. Particle bound transfer of contaminants in the Elbe poses risks to the marine environment and it limits sediment management in the tidal area.
This contamination has its origin mainly in diffuse sources throughout the entire Elbe River Basin with a strong focus on old industrial sites in Eastern Germany and in the Czech Republic. It is only to a very minor part caused by actual emissions, but stems mainly from abandoned sites in or near the waters.
For these reasons, a comprehensive sediment management for the Elbe River Basin is required including measures to reduce contamination. These would be equally fulfilling environmental requirements such as the EC Water Framework Directive and the EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
In 2009 the International Commission for the Protection of the River Elbe (IKSE, www.ikse-mkol.org) started a working group on sediment management. Its tasks are to deal both with quantitative and qualitative aspects of sediment management in the international Elbe basin. The international working group is nationally supported by another working group of the German River Community (www.fgg-Elbe.de).
The inter-state and international cooperation based on solidarity with the specific goal of reducing harmful substances is new. Pioneering is the equal consideration of all relevant uses of the river and its floodplains, such as fishing, agricultural production (feed, milk), marine environmental protection and economic development of ports and tourism along the entire river. Quality goals are:

  • Compliance with all relevant environmental legislation (e.g. environmental quality standards of the EC Water Framework Directive and the Daughter Directive on Priority Substances and the specifications of the IKSE and OSPAR Convention);
  • Allow all other relevant uses (e.g., safe fish consumption and animal feed production);
  • Protection of aquatic life in the river, coastal waters, and the sea;
  • Environmentally friendly relocation of dredged fresh Elbe sediments to the extent necessary.

Sediment management is of great importance for the Port of Hamburg. As sediments are natural elements of aquatic systems the objective is to relocate dredged material within the waters. Still contamination of sediments restricts relocation options. Some of the material dredged in the Port has to be treated and disposed of on land at high costs due to its contamination.
In 2010 the Hamburg Ministry of Urban Development and the Environment (BSU) in cooperation with the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) and the Hamburg Ministry of Economy initiated a project called “ELSA - Remediation of contaminated Elbe Sediments”. Hamburg’s interest is to initiate the improvement of sediment contamination in the Elbe, give advice and if required also financially support measures. Measures are to be implemented by the local administration. ELSA closely works together with the international and the national sediment working groups.

For more information about IKSE / FGG Elbe sediment working groups contact: Dr. Peter Heininger (mail: Heininger@bafg.de)

For more information about ELSA contact:
Dr. René Schwartz, BSU (mail: Rene.Schwartz@BSU.Hamburg.de)
Axel Netzband, HPA (mail: Axel.Netzband@HPA.Hamburg.de).


Sand extraction in the Mediterranean

Jan Meier Nolte (consultant in dredging) is searching for sand extraction possibilities in the Mediterranean. All offers, tips, hints etc. are welcome.
Please contact: Jan Meier Nolte. Email: jan.meiernolte@jmnbv.nl


International River Foundation (IRF)

The IRF recently announced the finalists of the 2011 Thiess International Riverprize.
The finalists are:
• Charles River, Massachusetts. USA
• Mattole River, California. USA
• Yarra River, Victoria. Australia
Finalists are to be congratulated for demonstrating excellence and innovation in river restoration and/or management.

The winner of the 2011 Thiess International Riverprize will be announced at the Riverprize Gala Dinner on Tuesday 27 September, 2011, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, during the 14th International Riversymposium (26-29 September, 2011).

Newsletter International River Foundation: www.riverfoundation.org.au


Upcoming events

11-15 September 2011: ICCE 2011 - International Conference on Chemistry and the Environment. Emerging Issues in Environmental Chemistry: from Basic Research to Implementation, Zürich, Switserland. www.icce2011.org

15 September 2011: Final conference of the Interreg Projekt DiPol “Inpact of Climate Change on the Quality of Urban and Coastal Waters”, Hamburg, www.tu-harburg.de/iue/dipol/final-conference-2011.html

28-30 September 2011: Coast Expo 2011 - Coastal protection exhibition, special section of RemTech 2011, Ferrara, Italy. www.coastexpo.com

10-11 November 2011: CEDA Dredging Days ‘Dredging and Beyond’, conference centre Ahoy, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

13-17 November 2011: SETAC North America Conference, Boston, Massachusetts. http://boston.setac.org/

23-25 May 2012: Fifth International Symposium on Contaminated Sediments: Restoration of Aquatic Environment. Location: Concordia University Montreal, QC. www.astm.org

3-7 June 2013: WODCON XX – World Dredging Congress, Brussels, Belgium


SedNet secretariat:
Mrs. Marjan Euser
P.O. Box 85467
NL-3508 AL Utrecht
The Netherlands
E-mail marjan.euser@deltares.nl