This course gives a challenging view on the upcoming dredging and marine works and their interaction with the environment. Based on a series of illustrative running projects, the actual picture on the negative environmental impacts of dredging activities is shifted towards an inviting and inspiring search for global solutions and added value for the project’s ecosystem. In order to get more familiar with the dredging works, a basic understanding of dredging techniques and their processes is presented. From this general introduction on dredging equipment, an overview of both the operational and the technical opportunities to set up and realize a marine dredging work is given.
Next to the dredging operations which alter the environment, a second part of the course identifies the environmental aspects related to marine works such as turbidity, underwater sound or water quality. Focus is initially oriented towards a fundamental insight in the eco-process itself, rather than deploying a straightforward dredging impact assessment. However, dredging-induced effects are clearly specified and described as a base for environmental management in the marine works. Bringing together these two main building blocks (dredging equipment & environmental aspects) creates a full challenge to surpass the traditional mitigation measures and defensive compliance monitoring. Through operational project examples, illustrative perspectives are indicated on how to engage nature values in dredging works. As such, smart combinations of dredging and environment – based on a better interactive understanding - induce both a mutual profit and sustainable solutions for global challenges.