Eleven leaders from the geosynthetics industry came together in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19–20, 2021, to participate in the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) fall Lobby Day 2021. During Lobby Day, GMA members advocated for specific language related to geosynthetics in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), then under consideration in the House of Representatives. The IIJA was subsequently passed and signed into law, with the language GMA supported included.
Geosynthetics Materials Association helps organize GeoNashville 2021
Were you there? If not, you missed the return to an in-person geosynthetics conference and a chance to reunite with your industry peers. GeoNashville 2021, Nov. 4–5, included an all-plenary program of more than 1.5 days in the Music City. Due to pandemic shutdowns, the earlier-in-2021 biennial gathering of the Geosynthetics Conference pivoted to the Geosynthetics Virtual Conference 2021, Feb. 22–25. This, subsequently, meant that there would not be a major North American geosynthetics conference after the Geosynthetics Conference 2020: Case Studies in Charleston, S.C. (Mar. 8–10, 2020), until the Geosynthetics Conference/IECA Annual Conference and Expo 2023, a span of almost three years. In discussions with Barbara Connett, secretary general of the conference, the Geosynthetics Materials Association recognized an opportunity to hold the first in-person geosynthetics conference at the same location as and just after IFAI Expo, Nov. 1–4, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. In only six months, we were able to coordinate four plenary presenters, sell out the exhibit hall and create the first all-in-one-room geosynthetics conference (in hopes of allowing the exhibitors to hear the presentations). While the all-in-one concept had a few issues, for the most part it produced our end desire of having all attendees being able to access the complete program. The attendance was better than we had anticipated, and the attendees were very pleased to be back in person.
Upcoming IECA Annual Conference and Expo 2022
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) will host the IECA Annual Conference and Expo 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 15–18, and if you are planning to attend, visiting the Lake City would also be a great opportunity to stop by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) worldwide headquarters in Roseville, Minn., a suburb 8 miles (13 km) from the conference and expo’s location in downtown Minneapolis (contact Fred C. Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to stop by).
Geosynthetics Conference 2023
IECA, the Geosynthetic Materials Association and Geosynthetics magazine are looking forward to next year’s Geosynthetics Conference 2023, which will be co-located with the IECA Annual Conference and Expo, in Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 5–8, 2023. You will recall that the co-located Geosynthetics Conference/IECA Annual Conference and Expo was scheduled to be in Kansas City, Feb. 21–24, 2021, but was made virtual due to the pandemic.