Speakers will talk dredging on Gulf coast Friday at MSI

Dredging along the Texas Gulf coast will be the topic at a special public lecture on Friday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m.

The free talk will take place at the Patton Center Marine Science Education auditorium, 855 E. Cotter Ave.

The speakers are Joshua Lewis and Benn Depp.

Lewis is the Schwartz professor of River and Coastal Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he also serves as the research director of the By- Water Institute. His research is focused on climate adaptation and water management on the Gulf coast, with a particular emphasis on infrastructure planning and the interface of maritime transportation and ecological change, according to a news release from UTMSI.

Depp is a photographer and National Geographic explorer based in New Orleans. Much of his work has centered on environmental issues, and his environmental photography has been funded by the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ford Foundation and the National Geographic Society. The release said, in 2014, Depp began making aerial images by powered paraglider, which allows for hours of exploration, a low flight path and the time-intensive search for surprising compositions.

Their talk will include discussion of the dredging revolution, said the release.

“Shallow estuaries, lagoons, river mouths and deltas from Tampa Bay to Brownsville are being reworked to accommodate larger ships,” the release said. “ Simultaneously, dredging is increasingly being used for coastal protection and climate adaptation projects as flooding risks take on new spatial contours and intensities. Dredging has emerged as a tool to resolve the very problems it can create.”

The two speakers will address:

• How this wave of new dredging projects is playing out in different settings across the Gulf Coast.

• How we might expand research into dredging to move beyond its current highly disciplinary and regulatory centric confines.

Much of their work has been based in Louisiana. They are now looking at the Texas coast.

“It should be a visually appealing lecture since one of the presenters shoots for National Geographic,” said Sally Palmer, communications manager at UTMSI.

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