Picture of the Day: Potter Begins Its 83rd Dredging Season

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dredge Potter launched for the beginning of the 2015-2016 dredging season yesterday from the St. Louis District’s Service Base.

The Potter’s mission is to maintain a 9-foot deep, 300-foot wide channel on 300 miles of the Mississippi River from Saverton, Missouri, to Cairo, Illinois, making navigation possible for towboats to move commerce up and down the river. In addition, the St. Louis District maintains a navigation channel on the lower 80 miles of the Illinois River as well as the lower 36 miles of the Kaskaskia River.

It is both the oldest USACE vessel and the most modern dredge: the Potter was refitted with a modern diesel power plant and other upgrades in 2001, and a new pilothouse was added in 2011.

Since 1979, the Potter has dredged nearly 162 million cubic yards of sediment to ensure reliable navigation on the river.