• New Book Announcement - Quantification of Pollution Levels in Harbour Sediments – A Geospatial Perspective

    New Book Announcement - Quantification of Pollution Levels in Harbour Sediments – A Geospatial Perspective


    As promised, the full report of a preliminary research project into global sediment contamination levels conducted by Dr. Ilse Steyl, Prof. Fani Sakellariadou and Dr. Simon Bray with a Technical Review by Dr. W. J. Langston of the Marine Biological Association, UK, has been published in hardback book form and is available at Tahoka Press (www.tahokapress.com).

    The Foreword to the book by Boud Van Rompay is published here in full as it explains the project and why Hydrex commissioned the research.


    Why would Hydrex commission a geospatially-oriented research project into the state of sediment pollution around the world?

    In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, I became increasingly aware of the dangerous levels of contamination of the sediment around shipyards and drydocks in Belgium and The Netherlands. Sediment contamination, particularly from ships’ toxic antifouling coatings with their heavy metals and persistent toxic chemicals, had reached a level where dredging in many places was impossible without wreaking havoc in the marine environment.

    I reasoned that if this was the case in these Belgian and Dutch ports and waterways, then there would be many other zones around the world in a similar condition.

    It was, in fact, this awareness that led to my development of a non-toxic alternative hull coating system, Ecospeed, and later to my work on a contained dredging system which we are currently developing for wide commercial use.

    Hydrex is all about expertise with water. The company’s goals are clean rivers, seas and oceans around the world.

    So this study, carried out so ably by Dr. Ilse Steyl, Prof. Fani Sakellariadou and Dr. Simon Bray, all well-known experts in their fields, was commissioned out of a desire to get a good grip on the state of sediment pollution around the world. The geospatial approach and the potential of a geographical information system and a worldwide database appealed to us greatly because it would make it possible to quantify the state of sediments all over the world, make management of the marine environment possible and clearly demonstrate the need for a non-toxic approach to fouling control.

    The results of this study, as summarized so accurately and eloquently in his technical review by world renowned ecotoxicologist Dr. W. J. Langston, although it is only a preliminary research project, point strongly in the direction of the adoption of a non-toxic solution and also towards widespread remedial dredging which needs to be done economically and without introducing new environmental hazards.

    I am personally very encouraged by these results and look forward to a full, detailed, ongoing worldwide continuation of this study and the ultimate creation of a live, expanding database and geographic information system (GIS) which provides a complete spatial and temporal window on the state of sediment contamination worldwide. They vindicate the direction we have taken in promoting a non-toxic answer to biofouling and a safe and economical approach to remedial dredging.

    Boud Van Rompay, Founder and CEO Hydrex
    Antwerp, June 2013

    The following extract from the Technical Review by world-renowned ecotoxicologist, Dr. Bill Langston of the UK’s Marine Biological Association, sums up the value of the report:

    “In summary this report provides an enlightening, critical and authoritative review of the fundamental processes which affect the distribution, concentration and effects of sediment-bound contaminants, the legislation surrounding them and importantly, strategy by which environmental managers and port authorities can address the practical issues of remediation and sustainable, cost-effective operation. Suggestions for data handling, retrieval and display, including incorporation into accessible local, regional and global GIS format are particularly informative and will help managers, scientists and public understand the extent, scale and sources of pollution problems in estuarine and coastal ecosystems – a vital pre-requisite when deciding on the relative merits of sediment treatment. In environmental (and possibly economic) cost terms, this review also demonstrates that a move towards non-toxic antifouling would be a sensible contribution to reducing the need for large-scale sediment manipulation and the attendant risk of contaminant exposure.”

    The information contained in this new book is of vital importance to shipowners and operators as it will make it easier for them to make decisions regarding underwater hull coating and maintenance for their vessels.

    And this book is just the beginning. Steps are being taken to expand this research so as to create a global geodatabase and geographical information system for sediment pollution levels in all ports, harbors and waterways around the world and to maintain this database so that current data on all locations are available and so that trends can be monitored.

    You may order your copy of Quantification of Pollution Levels in Harbour Sediments – A Geospatial Perspective at www.tahokapress.com

    The book will also soon be available for purchase from Amazon.com.

    Digital versions of the book will be announced in due course.