The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) announced global winners for its environmental excellence awards during the 2023 IECA Annual Conference and Expo in Kansas City, Mo. this past February. The IECA awards of excellence program acknowledges outstanding achievements in the erosion and sediment control and stormwater industries and is a staple event at the conference.
Contractor of the Year
IECA recognized a new category at this year’s event with the contractor of the year. The award recognizes a company that demonstrates excellence in industry compliance for execution on single or multiple projects. The first winner of this award is K4 Environmental. The company was recognized for its compliant construction project – Memorial Park Land Bridge in Houston, Texas. The group managed different stakeholders and advocated for the use of best management practices to create an environmentally friendly solution.
Young Professionals Under 40
Young professionals under 40 are recognized for their stormwater and erosion and/or sediment control projects, programs, or academics that show excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection. This year’s winners are Billur Kazaz, Ph.D. and Stefano Rignanese, M.Sc. This is the fourth year Rignanese has been selected for this award and he will be instrumental in organizing a Europe chapter this year. Kazaz is an active contributor to the Environmental Connection magazine and a frequent presenter at regional and annual conferences.
Sustained Partner Award
The sustained partner award recognizes distinguished support to IECA and outstanding contributions to improve the erosion and sediment control industry for multiple years. This year’s winner is IECA University Partner Auburn Stormwater Research Facility. The facility was established in 2009 and is dedicated to producing innovative and practical solutions for stormwater management. Through interdisciplinary research, product evaluation, and hands-on training, the facility remains at the forefront of stormwater research.
Outstanding Professional Award
The IECA outstanding professional award recognizes an IECA member that demonstrates excellence in their work in the industry and is viewed by his/her IECA peers as an industry leader through significant engagement with IECA. This year’s winner is Peter Armstrong. Armstrong has been in the erosion and sediment control industry for almost four decades. He is a longtime member of IECA and is most recognized for developing the “Maroon Manual,” erosion and sediment control guidelines for the Queensland District of Australia.
Sustained Contributor Award
Winners of the sustained contributor award have demonstrated leadership by example through long-term contribution to the erosion and sediment control industry via education, government involvement, research, establishment of standards or policies or the development of technology. This year’s winner is Adam Dibble, CPESC, CESSWI. Dibble has been involved with IECA since he joined the erosion and sediment control industry 13 years ago. He has been a member of the Great Lakes chapter from the beginning, has been on the chapter board for five years and currently serves as vice president of the chapter. He served on the global board of directors for many years, most recently as past president. Most significantly, Dibble led the reunification of Region One and Two.
Environmental Excellence Award
The environmental excellence award is IECA’s premier award. It recognizes an outstanding stormwater and erosion and/or sediment control project, program or operation that demonstrates excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection. Recipients have shown an elevated level of environmental benefit by clearly identifying the objectives, methods used, results obtained and details of the benefits to the environment. The winner is Kilométro 21 Vía Gigante-Garzón Recuperación De La Banca Usando Megabolsas, Huila, Columbia. On July 17, 2019, a landslide occurred on kilometer 21 of the Garzón Neiva Road in Hula, Columbia. The landslide created a partial loss of the road bank which closed the road. To reopen the area, a provisional road was created in the adjacent hillside by excavating the slope to create space for the traffic. The materials from the road bank were used to fill and add Megabags to reinforce the existing slopes. The road was opened within 14 days of the project beginning to allow traffic to use part of the road. The project also allowed the area to be restored to the condition it was in before the landslide and was fortified for future landslides.
“The winners of this year’s awards reflect the diversity and global presence of IECA,” said IECA chief executive officer Samantha Roe, IOM. “We’re able to recognize exceptional efforts of our members on a global scale to help showcase their work and projects around the world.”
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is the world’s oldest and largest member organization devoted to helping professionals who specialize in natural resource protection. IECA is the global resource for specialized education and training, resources and business opportunities for members to utilize to develop their skills and further their careers. For more information about IECA, please visit their website at ieca.org.