A Second Life for Dredged Material

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 11, Pg. 60-63

Document Type: Feature article


To ensure safe, navigable waters, rivers and waterways must be dredged. Dredging in the U.S. requires long-term alternatives for placement of more than 300 million cu yds of dredged material per year, according to the National Research Council. Dredged material has been used successfully throughout the U.S. for the development of wetlands and aquaculture; beach nourishment; shoreline stabilization and erosion control projects; the enhancement of agriculture, forest and horticulture; open cast mine reclamations' solid waste management, construction and industrial projects (such as port development) and material transfer for fills, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Most Corps wetland restoration and creation projects are aimed at stabilizing shoreline and sediment, controlling erosion and developing fish and wildlife habitats. Researchers at the Corps' Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss., have developed and tested a number of engineering field methods, including the use of geotubes and bioengineering that work with dredged material to almost guarantee a thriving habitat. These techniques have been used successfully at many sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay area and as part of a demonstration marsh developed along the Houston Ship Channel.

Subject Headings: Dredged materials | Construction materials | Wetlands (coastal) | Waterways | Shoreline protection | Project management | Industrial wastes

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