Ecology and Environment Engineering, P.C. (E & E) has been awarded the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC’s) Platinum Award in the Studies, Research and Consulting Engineering Services category.
The prestigious award recognizes E & E’s pioneering study evaluating the influence of open-lake placement of dredged material on harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards honor the work of ACEC New York member engineering firms for exceptional projects, both within New York State and around the world.
When the appearance of harmful algal blooms coincided with the dredging season in the Western Lake Erie Basin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District engaged E & E and its team of experts to conduct a comprehensive study of the issue to determine whether the placement of dredged material from Toledo Harbor could be a contributing factor. Toledo Harbor is one of the most active ports on the Great Lakes with imports/exports of nearly 10 million tons of cargo annually.
The E & E team developed a program to evaluate the problem based on sound science, field data, and calibrated modeling. The company developed a conceptual site model as a visual representation of the fate and transport of phosphorus in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
Based on study findings, it was determined open-lake placement of dredged material would not contribute to the development of harmful algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
“This investigation offers substantial positive social and economic impacts for the Toledo and greater Great Lakes region because it demonstrates that Toledo Harbor maintenance dredging plans continue to be environmentally sustainable,” said USACE Project Manager Michael Asquith. “We expect that E & E’s investigation will also set the standard for future studies and questions pertaining to perceived connections among the placement of dredged material in open water and harmful algal blooms.”