Harwich Haven Authority and Boskalis Westminster launch new environment learning programme in Harwich

Harwich Haven Authority and global marine services provider, Boskalis Westminster, are excited to announce the launch of its new Coastal Discoveries learning programme in Harwich, England.

The jointly funded £50K initiative is set to provide every primary school-aged child, attending a school in the Harwich and Dovercourt area (Tendring, Essex), with the opportunity to experience a Beach School workshop. The Beach-based lessons will be delivered by local teacher and environment champion Libby Scarfe from Seaside Explorers.

An estimated 2,000 children will have the opportunity to learn more about the natural environment, with the hope that their experience will spark the curiosity to explore, create and be interested in the world around them.  The programme will run throughout the Summer and Autumn of 2024.

Every child attending will receive a smart bucket-hat and useful identification cards that will help them spot species along the foreshore.

The Beach School programme for primary-aged children is just one part of the wider Coastal Discoveries initiative that will extend to local community groups, secondary-aged children and organisations such as the Scouts, Guides, Brownies, and Cubs.

Overarching all planned activities, and based on the COP15 30 x 30 initiative, the schools and groups engaging with Coastal Discoveries will be recording what they see, both on the beach and in their own environment, using iNaturalist. The data gathered is accessible to everyone, including academics worldwide, so any inputs are valuable to those investigating both local and global habitats.

“We are very excited to run this programme for children in our community and encourage participation,” says Sarah West, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority.

“As a Trust Port we have no shareholders which allows us to invest our surplus into the Haven for the benefit of our stakeholders. The Coastal Discoveries initiative is an example of how we can both enrich and benefit the younger generation.”

“Aligned to our Environment, Social and Governance Strategy we have been using the Social Value Portal, which is a tool that allows us to measure social value against selected Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs). Our Social Value in 2023 was more than £4.5 million and reflected community projects, employing local people, buying local and reducing our carbon emissions.

“We work closely with Boskalis Westminster who have been awarded our 2024-2025 maintenance dredging contract. Within the contract we, for the first time, included a sustainability clause, which aims to ensure that benefit would be seen by the community of Harwich and Dovercourt from our contractor. Boskalis loved the concept of Coastal Discoveries and the positive impact it will have on local children, so they were delighted to partner with us on this exciting and interesting project”.

Paul de Jong, Managing Director, Boskalis Westminster, added: “Boskalis Westminster has been working in partnership with HHA for many years and the Beach School Programme is an excellent way of investing in the community we work in.

“It is especially pleasing to see such large numbers of children participating and be given the opportunity to investigate their local environment out of the classroom.”

Liz Bartholomew, Head Teacher, Mayflower Primary School commented: “Here at Mayflower, we cannot praise Beach School enough!

“The benefit to our pupils is enormous, not only in terms of getting them learning outside the classroom, but also in terms of the wealth of environmental learning that takes place.

“The children are introduced to the amazing array of wildlife we have on our coastline, and they begin to appreciate the importance of our actions and the impact we have on the environment and our part in supporting it.

“This, of course, fully complements our science and geography curriculums, but it’s more than that…it’s developing their love of the world we live in and doing it in an exciting and stimulating way. “

On International Women in Maritime Day our CEO, Sarah West, urges more women to consider a career in maritime

Sarah West, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority

The Chief Executive of Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) is urging more women to consider a career in the sector, as the industry celebrates International Day for Women in Maritime.

Nationally, only 17% of people working in the ports sector are women, with even fewer working at sea – something HHA CEO Sarah West is determined to change.

Sarah, a former naval officer, was the first woman to ever command a major warship before taking on senior roles within the ports industry.  She joined the HHA as CEO in January last year.

She said: “Maritime is such an incredible industry to be involved in, on the water and off it.

“I have enjoyed a fascinating career in maritime and would love more women to experience the same.

“At HHA, I feel we are bucking the trend, with half of our new apprentices being female, but we would like to break down any perceived barriers to more women joining the sector.”

As a Trust Port, Harwich Haven Authority is responsible for safety of navigation in 150 square miles of waters off the east coast of England – encompassing Harwich Harbour and the estuaries of the Rovers Stour and Orwell.

With five port operators within its jurisdiction, including the UK’s largest container terminal at Felixstowe, HHA is a key player in the UK’s logistics chain.

In 2023, HHA privately funded and completed a £130 million project last year to deepen the channel so the largest container vessels in operation can dock in the region.

Among those to join the HHA’s marine apprenticeship programme is Marine Apprentice Hollie McGarry, who got her first taste of a maritime career though a work experience placement.

Hollie said young women thinking of a career in the sector should ‘go for it’.

“It’s not a usual choice of career for many young women, but my friends and family are very proud of my achievement,” she said.

“If I was to give advice to other young women considering a career in the industry, I’d say if you are looking for a job that gives you lots of variety and you enjoy being hands on, then ‘go for it’.”

Sarah added: “It is brilliant to see women like Hollie passionate about maritime and excited to get into the sector as a career.

“Although the sector is male-dominated, it is a very supportive and close-knit industry.

“I want to help break down some of the perceived barriers women may imagine are in their way so more can experience a rewarding career in the sector.”

Harwich Haven Authority awards Maintenance Dredging contract to Boskalis Westminster

Harwich Haven Authority has awarded its latest Maintenance Dredging contract to Boskalis Westminster. The contract will run for one year from December 2023 to December 2024 (inclusive).

Picture caption: Sospan Dau, operating at the beneficial placement project conducted by Harwich Haven Authority to recharge areas in and around Mersea Island, Essex, UK


Harwich Haven Authority’s former Harbour Engineer recognised for his outstanding contribution to the dredging industry by CEDA UK

John Brien

Harwich Haven Authority’s former Harbour Engineer, John Brien, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the dredging sector by the Central Dredging Association (CEDA) at their annual meeting held in November 2023.

Chartered civil engineer, John, joined Harwich Haven Authority in 1986 and oversaw all activities related to the conservancy of Harwich Harbour and the navigation approach channel, which included both capital and maintenance dredging works.

Before his retirement in the late summer of 2023, John led a major, and nationally significant, £130 million capital dredging project with joint-venture contractors Boskalis Westminster and Van Oord to deepen the approach channel and inner Harbour to a depth of -16 metres below Chart Datum.

The additional depth ensures deep-water access for the growing breed of mega-sized vessels in operation and futureproofs accessibility into the UK’s largest container port, the Port of Felixstowe.

A CEDA spokesperson commented: “John has been a keen and vocal advocate for the dredging sector, including serving on the CEDA UK committee for over 10 years.

“Notably, Harwich Haven Authority’s previous capital dredging project in 1998/2000, which was led by John, was one of the first major projects in the UK to be tested under the Habitats Regulations. John created a highly innovative programme of mitigation, including recycling fine sediment into the estuary system. In addition, his post project monitoring was recognised as an example of best practice by the industry.”


Harwich Haven Authority wins international environment and sustainability award

Pictured left to right. Jenni Murphy, Environment Manager. Bonnie Caleno, Environment Officer. Linzi Jobber, Sustainability Manager and Marcus Pearson, Interim ESG Director.

Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) is delighted to announce that they have been awarded a prestigious International Gold Green Apple Environment Award in recognition of the environment and sustainability best practice that was demonstrated through their recent Sustainability Week initiative.

The Green Apple Environment Awards are part of an annual international campaign established by The Green Organisation, an independent, not-for-profit, non-political environment group. Established in 1994 they recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.

As one of the UK’s largest trust ports and the statutory harbour authority responsible for the conservancy of one of the UK’s most important trade gateways, HHA has recently launched (in 2023) an Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Strategy – Navigating Towards a Sustainable Future – to further cement their commitment to environment and sustainability best practices.

To support the launch of the ESG Strategy, which was compiled in conjunction with relevant stakeholders with an interest in the Haven, HHA held a Sustainability Week across their organisation to raise awareness and embed the key Pillars of the Strategy – Environment, Community and Governance – with their employees.

Marcus Pearson, Interim ESG Director, Harwich Haven Authority, said: “To be up against so many other great nominations and win this prestigious Award so early in our ESG Strategy journey is testament to the hard work that teams across HHA put into our Sustainability Week initiative.

“Central to the development and roll out of our ESG Strategy was to ensure that our employees were onboard with our plans from the very start, which we achieved by facilitating interactive workshops that both encouraged engagement and conversations related to our planned activities.

“We have achieved so much in a short time against the core themes of the Strategy that include climate resilience, biodiversity, waste reduction, targeting social value benefits, strengthening local partnership and bolstering our charitable giving programme.”

Green Apple Award judges commented: “Harwich Haven Authority engaged, educated, and empowered employees through an internal Sustainability Week. The week emphasised sustainability’s importance at work and home, launching the Authority’s ESG Strategy. Workshops with employees covering UNSDG’s portrayed awareness of local, low-carbon benefits and empowered employees for sustainable initiatives.“

Annual Public Meeting 2023, Monday 17 July 2023 – 6pm

Join us on Monday 17 July at 6pm for our Annual Public Meeting at The Waterfront, Dovercourt, Essex.

We’ll be looking back over 2022, presenting our new Environment, Social and Governance Strategy and taking a closer – and interactive – look at the role of #Harwich #pilots

You’ll also have the opportunity meet our CEO, Sarah West and members of her senior leadership team.

With sustainability in mind… we’ll be serving food and refreshments from our #carbonmenu

If you can’t join us in person, the meeting is available via Zoom https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82608189766. The meeting will start online at 6.15pm

Take a look at our 2022 Annual Report and Financial Statements https://hha.co.uk/…/Annual-Report-and-Financial…

#trustport #annualpublicmeeting #harwich #essex #ukports #harbour



Harwich Haven Authority Maintenance Dredging Framework December 2023-December 2024 now open to Tender

Harwich Haven Authority is establishing a framework contract, which will run for one year – December 2023 to December 2024 (inclusive) – for maintenance dredging.

All documentation related to the Maintenance Dredging Tender are available to view here.