Why is it important to dredge canals?

If 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.

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