DredgeFest California takes place in the Bay Area June 13-19, 2016. It combines an intensive scenario planning workshop, held at U.C. Berkeley, with a series of tours open to the public. Tickets are now on sale for the tours, Saturday June 18 and Sunday June 19.

DredgeFest California will focus on the sedimentary challenges and potentials of the Bay-Delta system of San Francisco. Here, sediment-linked phenomena such as pulses, droughts, dredging, diking and reclamation all intermingle. It’s a veritable menagerie of sedimentary events in a region bound to sediment-management practices like no other. All of these occurrences have generated a complex relationship between anthropological interests and ecological integrity as residents and planners must balance dealing with climate change, sea-level rise, wetland restoration, public waterfront access, industrial needs, and the cultural heritage of the Bay-Delta region as a whole.

DredgeFest is timely, as the San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s 2015 State of the Estuary report notes:

“Innovative thinking about sediment sources, transport and delivery to the Estuary is now an urgent priority. Restoring processes of sediment movement in the watershed and creating methods to deliver sediment… are both valuable approaches for restoring this fundamental physical driver. Like fresh water, sediment is a precious resource that is essential for keeping the Estuary healthy.”

DredgeFest California is driven by the belief that sediment projects have the potential to not only satisfy immediate economic needs, like the provision of navigation through channel dredging, but also to create additional long-term value for the cultural, ecological, and economic contexts that they are embedded in. We seek to build public constituencies for this potential value and to facilitate the envisioning of these potential futures. Organized by the Dredge Research Collaborative,  DredgeFest California completes the 4-coasts project.


DredgeFest California will consist of two events, a tour series and a week of workshops. Each event engages related but distinct stakeholders and participants.


In an effort to communicate the scale of operation in these massive landscapes, two day-long tours will be held. One tour (Saturday June 18) will focus on the San Francisco Bay itself and the dredging and reclamation that occurs there, while the other (Sunday June 19) will address the levee-linked landscape of the Delta. These tours are open to the public and welcome to curious participants of all levels and will give an opportunity to experience these strange places first-hand. Participation in both tours is encouraged, as the relationship between the two landscapes will be a significant topic of discussion throughout the tours. Click here for more information about the tours or here to buy tickets.


To aid in the exploration of the many issues facing the Bay-Delta, a series of topical academic workshops will be held at U.C. Berkeley to facilitate focused research and inquiry regarding the sediment systems affecting the region.  Workshop teams will be composed of students, local experts from industry and government, academics, and local stakeholders with the intention of generating and communicating informed, future-oriented visions of the of the region through spatial modelling. There will be three workshop tracks offered for DredgeFest California, focusing on different topics: The Bay, The Delta and Sediment Choreography for the region as a whole. Click here for more information.



DredgeFest California is sponsored by Great Lakes Dredge and DockLandscape Architecture Magazine, the UC Davis Hellman Fellows Program, the University of California, Davis’ Department of Human Ecology, Groundworks Office, the Delta Protection Commission, the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, and the Dutra Museum Foundation.

We are currently seeking additional sponsors for DredgeFest California; interested parties should contact Rob Holmes (rholmes@dredgeresearchcollaborative.org). DredgeFest California is organized by the Dredge Research Collaborative, an independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization.

DredgeFest is an independent event series with no single backer or sponsor; previous DredgeFests have received support from a wide range of entities such as the University of Minnesota, Louisiana State University, the Bush Foundation, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Arcadis, and TenCate.


For media inquiries, general questions, or other matters besides sponsorship, contact Tim Maly (tmaly@dredgeresearchcollaborative.org).

Still curious what DredgeFest is all about?  Check out this article from Landscape Architecture Magazine highlighting the Louisiana event.