It's on us. Share your news here.

DredgeWire Exclusive: South Atlantic District Deputy Commander, Tampa Port Engineer, Open WEDA Summit with Keynote Talks

Col. Matthew Y. McCulley

Posted on June 26, 2024

By Judith Powers

Col. Matthew Y. McCulley, Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division, presented the keynote address at the Western Dredging Association 2024 Summit & Expo on June 24th.

The event took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

“I’m glad to see you starting with a safety briefing,” he said, referring to the emergency evacuation plan and medical emergency plan presented by WEDA Safety Commission member Randy Steed as the first order of business.

“The Chief of Engineers stresses that the Corps accomplishes projects ‘safely, on time, and under budget’ with the emphasis on safety,” he said.

There are five Districts in the South Atlantic Division,” he continued – Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville and Mobile, including Task Force VIPR, which provides support for USACE civil works and infrastructure projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The COE is responsible for the extensive system of navigable inland waterways as well as all the coastal ports in the United States, he said. “Our federal channels and waterways are vital to our national security and global competitiveness,” he said. “Our ports, rivers and harbors are open for business, and this is not possible without dredging” he said.

Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Scott Spellman has set a goal of achieving beneficial use of 70 percent of the two hundred million cubic yards per year that are dredged by the partnership of industry and federally owned dredges, he said.

“I’m glad to see that you have beneficial use as a frequent topic at this conference,” he said.

He praised the ongoing efforts related to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, lamenting the six people who lost their lives in the disaster.

“It was a herculean effort to get the steel cleared and the channel re-opened, he said. That collaboration of state, federal and industry demonstrated what the U.S. can accomplish when called upon. He urgedpeople at the conference to talk to Corps people in attendance about their jobs and how they contribute to the nation.

Patrick Blair, the vice president of Engineering at the Port of Tampa, succeeded Col. McCulley at the podium.

The Port of Tampa occupies 5,000 acres and has seventy berths, and two dredged material islands, he said. It is the most convenient port for ship traffic from the south and west. The next port, reached by sailing around the tip of Florida, is Savannah, Georgia.

The Port of Tampa realizes the importance of good relationships with contractors and working together to get the job done. Dredging enables the import of goods and protection of coastal areas from flooding, he said, welcoming the attendees to the city and port.

It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe