Hopper dredges must dispose of their material in deep
water, making the spoil material unavailable for direct
marsh creation, although the material may still provide
nourishment for the system. In comparison to hopper
dredges, spoil from dustpan and cutterhead dredges can be
disposed of in shallow, open waters for marsh creation.
The project demonstrated the safe operation of a dustpan
hydraulic dredge in the critical Head of Passes reach of the
Mississippi River. This demonstration enables the use of
this type of dredge for the maintenance of this reach and
additional opportunity for the beneficial use of the dredge
material. Over the course of this demonstration project,
approximately 40 acres of deteriorated marsh that had
converted to shallow open water was restored with
approximately 222,000 cubic yards of dredge material
over the course of 8 days or 192 operating hours with the
expectation of an increase in marsh.
The project is located in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, in
the Mississippi River Modern Delta. Dredging took place
near Cubit’s Gap, Head of Passes, and Southwest Pass.
The demonstration was completed in June 2002.
This project is on Priority Project List 6.