Image source: CashmanThe dredging operations on the New Bedford lower harbor, undertaken by Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co., are nearing its completion.Cashman Dredging, a heavy-construction company based in Quincy, Massachusetts, won this $15 million contract in May 2017.According to the company, it is estimated that this capital dredging project will be completed during the first half of 2018.Project highlightsDredging is being performed in depths of up to 30 feet of water and as shallow as 3 feet;Sediments placed into the Lower Harbor Confined Aquatic Disposal Cell (LHCC) are being dredged using mechanical dredging equipment with a closed environmental bucket;Approximately 130,000 to 170,000 cubic yards of dredge materials exceeding the Lower Harbor Superfund cleanup level of 50 ppm are being removed and placed in the LHCC. Most of the material underlies the State Channel on the New Bedford side of the harbor;To minimize over-dredging, dredging accuracy is being controlled by using a Cashman-refined and enhanced Dredgepack dredge bucket positioning system (DGPS);Cashman developed a precise technical approach that incorporates “lessons learned” from dredging PCB-impacted sediments and from precision dredging using their dredge monitoring and positioning systems.New Bedford Harbor is a deep water commercial port with easy access to the maritime corridor from the Massachusetts coast, located on the northwestern side of Buzzard’s Bay.Once the world’s largest whaling port and a cotton manufacturing center, the harbor is now a major fishing port. The Port of New Bedford also serves as a break-bulk handler of perishable items, including fruit and fish, and also handles other cargo.Image source: Cashman
Kenya launches mobile application to monitor forests to curb illegal loggingKenya on Friday launched a mobile application to monitor forests in order to curb illegal logging.Kenya Forest Service (KFS) Director Emilio Mugo said the smart phone application will enable users to report illegal activities in the forest.“We expect the app to compliment the efforts of law enforcement officers to conserve Kenya’s forests,” Mugo said during the 20-year celebrations of the Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG).The mobile system is a joint initiative of the KFWG and the University of Nairobi.Mugo said the app will reduce the cost of forest surveillance.“Kenya’s forests are spread across the country and we don’t have sufficient resources to monitor activities in all forests at real time,” he said.According to government data, forest covers seven percent of Kenya’s land mass. The director noted that Kenya has 142,000 hectares of plantation forest to supply wood to the timber industry.“We don’t allow logging in indigenous forest as they are used for conservation of watersheds and for use as wildlife habitats,” he said.KFS said the country has sufficient supply of wood to satisfy domestic requirements although Kenya imports small amounts from Tanzania, South Sudan and UgandaNational Coordinator of the KFWG Jackson Bambo said Kenya’s forests are under threat from human encroachment.“Expanding population has forced some communities to clear forests for agriculture activity,” Bambo said.He added that the mobile app will enable communities to report on forests activities to a centralized server.“The technology system is expected to enhance forests monitoring and reporting by various stakeholders for informed decision making,” he said.The system users are only required to have a smart phone to report any incidence in real time.The coordinator said the app will help to educate the millions of Kenyans who have smart phones but have little information on forests conservation.