Bay Sediment for Bay Restoration

A significant amount of sediment dredged from the San Francisco Bay will be placed at Bay restoration sites this summer to support healthy wetlands, the California State Coastal Conservancy informs. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) maintains federal navigation channels in the Bay for shipping, which require periodic dredging of accumulated sediment. Typically, this sediment is disposed of at In-Bay disposal sites or miles offshore at Deep Ocean Disposal Sites.

In early 2019, USACE and the Coastal Conservancy signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) allowing the sediment to be placed at beneficial use sites around the Bay, and this month, the first contract to conduct this work was awarded.

“Sediment supply is one of the biggest hurdles for wetland restoration work. Several restoration sites around the Bay are ready to receive sediment, and are in desperate need of it,” said Amy Hutzel, Deputy Executive Officer at the California State Coastal Conservancy.

“The Corps is a great partner on many restoration projects, and has access to millions of cubic yards of dredged sediment every year so this was a natural fit. We knew that if we could overcome the logistical challenges, we could use Bay sediment for Bay restoration.”

Under this arrangement, 70,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged from Redwood City Harbor will be placed at a beneficial use upland site this summer, helping the upland sites create thriving wetlands that are resilient to sea level rise.

A $7 million contract for the dredging of Redwood City Harbor was awarded to R.E. Staite Engineering, Inc. of San Diego on June 17, 2019. Of that, approximately $1.7 million will come from Conservancy funding to cover the incremental cost for disposal at a beneficial use site.

Approximately 486,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged from Redwood City Harbor this summer. Of that, 70,000 cubic yards will be placed at beneficial use sites.