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Oct
31
2017

Why is it important to dredge canals?

florida canal dredgingIf you’ve ever taken a boat out onto a lake, river, or canal, you know you have to be careful to navigate around the amount of much in the water body. Much is comprised of sediments at the bottom of a body of water. The more muck the water has, the greater impact it will have on the quality of the water and the recreational activities that take place there. Dredging is used when the sediments begin to affect water quality and inconvenience to recreational activities. 

But the benefits of dredging canals don’t end there for canals. Take, for example, the specific case of the Grantham Canal. A dredging project aimed at improving water quality and encouraging rare aquatic plants to thrive  undertaken on a 6 km stretch of the canal to protect important habitats. This stretch of the canal was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because it offers ideal conditions for important aquatic plants to thrive.

The dredging project also helped to manage the overgrowth of reeds which over-dominate and make it difficult for other aquatic plants to compete. The dredging project created a 1.2m channel in the middle of the canal which allowed the all-important flow of water between the reeds along the bank.

Dredging is vital in maintaining the health, recreational enjoyment and quality of a canal. The long-term benefits are crucial to its survival.

Sep
05
2017

Is dredging good for the environment?

dredge muck clamshellClay, sand, and silt left behind from dredging are repurposed as marshes and wildlife habitats. Benefits to local wildlife and the environment include the removal of contaminated sediments and their relocation to safe, contained areas, and the improvement of water quality through the restoration of water depth and flow. 

There are significant beneficial improvements from the use of clean maintenance dredgings to enhance mudflat and saltmarsh habitats and to mitigate losses of intertidal land through sea level rise and capital dredging operations.

A few ways dredging helps the environment are:

  • Removal of subtidal benthic species and communities. 
  • Short-term increases in the level of suspended sediment can give rise to changes in water quality which can favorably affect marine life.
  • After the suspended sediments settle, the result is the smothering or blanketing of subtidal communities and/or adjacent intertidal communities, which is used beneficially to raise the level of selected areas to offset sea level rise and erosion.
  • In soft sediment environments, recovery of animal communities  occurs relatively quickly, and a more rapid recovery of communities has been observed in areas exposed to periodic disturbances, such as maintained channels.
  • In general, recovery times increase in stable gravel and sand habitats dominated by long-lived components with complex biological interactions controlling community structure.

These findings are supported by studies of the Georgia Estuary system, USA, which suggest that maintenance dredging has only a short term effect on the animal communities of the silt and clay sediments. Although almost complete removal of organisms occurs during dredging, recovery begins within one month, and within two months the communities were reported to be similar to pre-dredge conditions.

Aug
07
2017

Storm Water Dredging

storm water pond clearingWhether it’s a storm water pond, retention pond or a lagoon, all ponds are in a dying process the moment they built. Algae, weeds, leaves and other organic material travel and settle at the bottom of the pond in the form of residue – or “muck.”  Muck, over time, fills the pond and becomes the principal source of several problems that the owners of the pond are confronted with.

Made up of toxic gases and nutrients that harbor excessive algae and weed growth, muck deteriorates the pond’s ecosystem. Dredging is an efficient and economical way of clearing pond scum and muck from the pond and returning it to new life.

A retention pond collects and cleans storm water runoff. It is advantageous in that it helps slow the rate of runoff from storm water, protects neighborhoods from flooding and improves the quality of water that exits the pond. The pond acts as a collector to trap sediment from seeping into storm water that clogs rivers and streams and degrades the environment for birds, fish, and other wildlife.

Our eco-friendly dredging system utilizes compact, easily deployable dredging and harvesting equipment to remove accumulated sediment, sand, vegetation and debris from your storm water retention ponds. We return your storm water system to its original design capacity and help prepare you for storm season.

Our dewatering tubes are placed around the perimeter of your pond system to quietly, and efficiently dewater the sediment removed with the hydraulic dredging system. Rapid mobilization and non-invasive equipment are the key components to a fast, efficient and effective storm water pond or lake restoration project.

Only clean water returns to the waterway, and there is minimal need for site restoration. Our methods do not damage pond or lagoon liners, and your pond is restored to its most effective, functional state.

Jun
15
2017

Does dredging help local wildlife in the long run?

dredging wildlife floridaClay, sand, and silt left behind from dredging have been repurposed as marshes and wildlife habitats. Benefits to local wildlife include the removal of contaminated sediments and their relocation to safe, contained areas, and the possible improvement of water quality made by the restoration of water depth and flow. 

There can be significant beneficial improvements from the use of clean maintenance dredgings to enhance mudflat and saltmarsh habitats and to mitigate losses of intertidal land through sea level rise and capital dredging operations.

A few ways dredging helps local wildlife are:

  • Removal of subtidal benthic species and communities. 
  • Short-term increases in the level of suspended sediment can give rise to changes in water quality which can favorably affect marine life.
  • After the suspended sediments settle, the result is the smothering or blanketing of subtidal communities and or adjacent intertidal communities, which is used beneficially to raise the level of selected areas to offset sea level rise and erosion.
  • In soft sediment environments, recovery of animal communities occurs relatively quickly, and a more rapid recovery of communities has been observed in areas exposed to periodic disturbances, such as maintained channels.
  • In general, recovery times increase in stable gravel and sand habitats dominated by long-lived components with complex biological interactions controlling community structure.

These findings are supported by studies of the Georgia Estuary system, USA, which suggest that maintenance dredging has only a short term effect on the animal communities of the silt and clay sediments. Although almost complete removal of organisms occurs during dredging, recovery begins within one month, and within two months the communities were reported to be similar to pre-dredge conditions.

Source

Apr
27
2017

This Year's Warm Winter May Cause a Algae Blooms to Skyrocket

algae bloom floridaThere are several factors that determine the level of each year’s algae bloom in Florida and its relative harmfulness. Warmer than average winters, with no freezing temperatures to complete a normal nature cycle could really spell trouble for Florida waterways, beginning as early as this spring.

The EPA warns:

Harmful algae usually bloom during the warm summer season or when water temperatures are warmer than usual. Warmer water due to climate change might favor harmful algae in some of ways:

  • Toxic blue-green algae prefer warmer water.
  • Warmer temperatures prevent water from mixing, allowing algae to grow thicker and faster.
  • Warmer water is easier for small organisms to move through and allows algae to float to the surface faster.
  • Algal blooms absorb sunlight, making water even warmer and promoting more blooms.
  • Climate change might lead to more droughts, which make freshwater saltier. This can cause marine algae to invade freshwater ecosystems. In the Southwestern and South Central United States, toxic marine algae have been killing fish in freshwater lakes since 2000.
  • Algae need carbon dioxide to survive. Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air and water can lead to rapid growth of algae, especially toxic blue-green algae that can float to the surface of the water.
  • Climate change might affect rainfall patterns, leading to alternating periods of drought and intense storms. This can cause more nutrient runoff into waterbodies, feeding more algal blooms.
  • Drought conditions can severely impact waterways both vast and small as was the case with the Mississippi River after one of the worst droughts in recorded history. The Army Corps of Engineers deployed more than a dozen dredging vessels to address the drought’s affect on the Mississippi to make the river, channels, and surrounding waterways passable once more. Dredging was beneficial on a massive scale in the case of the Mississippi, but dredging after a drought is advantageous for all waterways. A few benefits of dredging after a drought include:
  • Marine Life Protection - When water levels deplete in any natural body of water, marine plant and animal life are deprived of vital oxygen they need to survive. Hundreds - if not thousands of fish die off, causing a complete disruption in the waterway’s ecosystem. Dredging creates ideal environments for fish and marine life by creating pockets in the bottoms of riverbeds and streams.
  • Access to Recreation and Enjoyment - When water levels deplete in a waterway typically enjoyed by people, activities cease. Dredging increases recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, windsurfing, and swimming, among other activities.
  • Control Unsightly Overgrowth - while drought causes water to deplete, enough moisture stays behind in even an almost completely “dried out” lake or pond to promote the rapid growth of algae and weeds. Dredging increases the irrigation storage capacity and controls unsightly weed or algae growth.
  • Prevent Shoreline Erosion and Improve Water Health- When a body of water is dredged, the chances of shoreline erosion are reduced. The sediment contains pollutants from industrial runoff and significantly affects the water quality. When pollutants and sediments are removed, the overall health of the body of water improves.
  • We are looking at a new day and age when it comes to climate, weather, and what we can predict. The safest way to protect your Florida waterway is by having it dredged today.

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