LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (RRSLA) is hosting DredgeFest Louisiana workshops at the LSU Design Building, January 13–16, 2014. DredgeFest Louisiana runs January 11–17, 2014, and includes a symposium in New Orleans January 11–12, workshops in Baton Rouge January 13–16, and a tour of dredge landscapes, leaving from New Orleans on January 17.
DredgeFest is a roving conference and workshop series—an encounter between government agencies, designers, theorists, academics, corporate practitioners, industry experts, students, and the public.
The first DredgeFest was held in New York City in 2012, one month before Superstorm Sandy made landfall. DredgeFest Louisiana is the second, organized by the Dredge Research Collaborative with assistance from partners that include the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, and Gulf Coast Public Lab.
DredgeFest Louisiana is a symposium, field expedition, and speculative design workshop about the human manipulation of sediments. The terrain is southern Louisiana and the Mississippi River.
Historically, the Mississippi River has made land, building the southern half of the state of Louisiana over the course of 5,000 years. Nearly 200 million tons of sediment still flow every year down the Mississippi River and its primary branch, the Atchafalaya. At the same time, rising sea levels, salt water intrusion, canal excavation for industrial purposes, and flood control along the edge of the river have altered the balance between deposition, subsidence, and erosion.
As a consequence, Louisiana has lost over 1,700 square miles of land—an area greater than the state of Rhode Island—since 1930. Without a change in course, Louisiana is anticipated to double that loss in the next 50 years. Settlements from Lake Charles to Bayou LaFourche to New Orleans are endangered by this loss, both directly—as the land itself disappears—and indirectly, as the loss of barrier islands and coastal marshes exposes settlements to storm surge.
DredgeFest Louisiana will investigate topics such as dredging methods, sea-level rise, the beneficial use of dredged material, habitat restoration, marsh terracing, land loss, barrier island reconstruction, invasive species, revetments, spillways, floods, hurricanes, river flow models, advanced geotextiles, landscape robotics, novel ecosystems, feedback cycles, and turbidity curtains. The Dredge Research Collaborative is curious about the instruments of public participation: grassroots organizations, volunteer efforts, environmental health and justice—the political economy of dredge.
DredgeFest Louisiana’s website, dredgeresearchcollaborative.org, states: “We are excited to hold DredgeFest in Louisiana because we believe Louisiana is living in the future: experiencing the aggregate consequences of human activities for coastal regions sooner and faster than perhaps any other part of the nation and experimenting with the tools, methods, and practices that will be required to cope with those consequences. We think that more people should be aware of these things, so we are putting on a festival, open to the public.”
At LSU’s campus, January 13–15, internationally renowned designers will lead fast-paced, intensive, and speculative small-group design workshops. A day-long large-group workshop led by the Dredge Research Collaborative and open to all LSU landscape architecture students, free of charge, will follow on January 16. Workshop leaders include:
- Associate Professor and Director Bradley Cantrell, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
- Jeff Carney, associate professor at the LSU School of Architecture and director of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio
- Assistant Professor Richard Hindle, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
- Smout Allen from the Bartlett School of Architecture
- Case Brown of P-REX
- Alexander Robinson from the University of Southern California
Bradley Cantrell is also a confirmed participant of the symposium in New Orleans, along with others from LSU, including Justine Holzman, lecturer in landscape architecture; Andy Nyman, professor of wetland wildlife ecology; and Distinguished Research Master and Shell Endowed Chair in Oceanography and Wetlands Studies Eugene Turner.
Visit dredgeresearchcollaborative.org to purchase tickets or to view a complete schedule of DredgeFest Lousiana speakers and events.
About LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has established an international reputation as one of America’s leading and consistently top-ranked programs. Part of the LSU College of Art + Design, the school offers Bachelor of Landscape architecture and Master of Landscape architecture programs. For over 60 years, the program has produced landscape architects who practice all over the world and participate in the full spectrum of the discipline. For more information, visit landscape.lsu.edu.
LSU College of Art + Design
102 Design Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803