DNR Introduces Tool for Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has developed a new conservation tool to identify opportunities for the beneficial use of clean dredged sediments. 

Image source: USACE

Beneficial Use – Identifying Locations for Dredge (BUILD) is a mapping tool that will support the state’s Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, protect infrastructure and investment, and enhance coastal resiliency.

The tool was inspired by the success of the Ferry Point Park shoreline project in Queen Anne’s County, which was completed in 2013 through a partnership between the state and county. Ferry Point Park’s shoreline was restored using dredged material obtained from a nearby federal navigation channel.

Combining these projects saved the department more than $1 million by reducing transportation costs. It also opened navigation, created habitat, and preserved land.

The project demonstrated that with a more coordinated approach to dredging and shoreline restoration during the planning phase of projects, enormous economic and ecological benefits can be realized across the state, said MDNR in its release.

A first of its kind tool, BUILD will assist governmental and non-governmental entities to synchronize the use of dredged material from navigation channels with projects that reduce flooding and storm risk impacts.

According to MDNR, planners and engineers can save on costs that would otherwise be incurred to transport dredged material to an upland placement site or to bring fill material to a restoration site.