Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials

Neither time nor sediment should go to waste! CWPPRA and our partners believe that beneficial use of dredged material in projects is an important part of coastal wetlands restoration.

Beneficial use, in simple terms, is the act of using dredged materials to fortify our barrier islands, build marsh platforms, or nourish the coastline instead of disposing it into places that will not benefit from it. Dredging is necessary to keep important transportation channels open for commercial ships and recreational boating. When dredging a canal, sediment is often dumped in holding facilities or off the continental shelf because of the low price tag. Borrowing sediment from otherwise untouched and stable areas is not necessary when dredging already makes viable material readily available.  [1]

Many CWPPRA projects that are approved for construction have implemented beneficial use of sediment. For example:

  • BA-39 Mississippi River Sediment Delivery – Bayou Dupont
  • MR-08 Beneficial Use of Hopper Dredged Material Demonstration
  • AT-02 Atchafalaya Sediment Delivery
  • TE-44 North Lake Mechant Landbridge Restoration
  • CS-28 Sabine Refuge Marsh Creation (Cycle II and onwards)
  • And many more!

Of course, some areas will not be in close enough proximity to a channel with reliable dredging, but we want to maximize beneficial use when and where possible. For CS-28-2, our partners installed a permanent dredged material pipeline to further decrease damage to coastal wetlands that temporary pipelines can cause. The permanent pipeline ensures that whenever the Calcasieu River Ship Channel needs dredging, the dredged material goes to restoring wetlands with as little detrimental influence as possible.

Sediment is a valuable resource for coastal Louisiana, and the need for sediment across the coast means that we can’t afford to waste any. CWPPRA projects strive to use sediment from as many sources as possible so that more projects have the material they need- with some creativity, a little sediment can go a long way.

 

Featured image from https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/article_5f227419-6c44-5a0d-a641-1af377e5bb91.html

[1] https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404/beneficial-use-dredged-material

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