After Dredging: Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material

Most people would be surprised to learn that every year, several hundred million cubic yards of material is dredged from the bottoms of ports, harbors, marinas and other waterways to maintain correct depths for boat passage (both commercial and recreational).

Some of the dredged material is considered hazardous and must be placed into CDFs (or Confined Disposal Facilities) but nearly half of the volume of dredged material is not contaminated and does not need to be contained. With CDFs rapidly becoming filled, alternative uses need to be considered for the perfectly harmless and clean dredged material rather than letting the material go to waste.

Here are a few alternative options for the re-purposing of dredged material that should be considered in your dredging project:

Beach Replenishment and Nourishment - A lot of the clean dredged material is coarse and can be used in the near shore or beach zone areas to create or expand beaches and recreational areas. Quality beach sand is commonly in short supply and in coastal areas, beaches are what the local economy depends on.

Habitat Restoration or Creation - Quality, clean dredged material is a valuable source of material needed to restore or even create marine wetland and aquatic habitats. Restoring these areas often re-establishes vegetation native to the region and provides larger natural areas for native habitats.

Enhancement or Creation of Topsoil - Valuable topsoil material can be created using the finer fraction of dredged material and can be applied by itself or mixed with materials like manure, compost or bio-solids.

Several other practical uses for re-purposing dredged material exist such as Land Creation, Construction Fill, Landfill Caps and Covers, and Mineland Reclamation that all benefit the environment by reducing the need for CDFs and restoring areas in need of quality sand or soil.

For more information on your dredging project, contact the dredging experts at C&M Dredging.

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