The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, dredging crew is working hard to remove sediment from the Mississippi River channel near Wabasha, Minnesota.
The Corps uses dredge Goetz to remove the material, placing it on Crats Island, one of the district’s dredge material placement sites across from the Wabasha Marina.
According to USACE, sedimentation in the channel is caused by the normal cycle of silt movement, erosion from high water or heavy rains and changes in river currents. To maintain the 9-foot navigation channel, material that settles in the channel area must be removed.
This material is placed in designated areas along the river. Some of these areas are beneficial use placement areas. Beneficial use of dredged material is the productive use of the material by the public or private sectors.
Examples of common beneficial uses of dredged material in the St. Paul District are upland habitat development, wetland creation, aquatic habitat enhancement, creation of areas for bird nesting, beach nourishment, winter road maintenance, levee repair and improvement, aggregate for concrete, lining fly ash pits, bank protection and general purpose fill.
The St. Paul District’s dredge fleet is made up of three vessels to include the Dredge William L. Goetz, the Motor Vessel General Warren and the Quarters Boat Harold E. Taggatz.
This fleet is used to assist in maintaining 850 miles of the Upper Mississippi River, 335 miles of the Illinois River and other inland rivers and typically is used to dredge 1 to 2 million cubic yards of sediment out of the 9-foot navigation channel each year. The fleet is based out of the district’s service base in Fountain City, Wisconsin.