Maintaining all tides access at MDL’s marinas

MDL Marinas has successfully completed dredging at their Sparkes and Northney marinas in Chichester, the culmination of the £400K 2020/21 winter dredging program.

“This year we dredged enough silt and mud from our marinas to fill ten Olympic sized swimming pools, weighing 33,000 tons and the equivalent of 8,000 elephants or the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. This amount of dredging and much more in some years, is essential to providing year-round all tides access to our marinas for berth holders and visitors,” they stated in their official announcement.

“As with many marinas globally, our marinas are subject to ongoing siltation and require regular dredging to maintain water depths to ensure boats don’t run aground on the approach and are able to berth safely and stay afloat once inside the marina.”

Commenting the latest news, Alex Beere, MDL Director of Technical Services, said: “The results of the investment in our comprehensive dredging program are probably the least visible of all our investments. But it would soon be very noticeable if we didn’t complete this essential work annually, and would heavily impact on a customer’s experience of our marinas.”

Siltation is the natural process of sediment deposition, with a proportion of the sediment (or mud particles) suspended in the water settling on the sea or riverbed when water is static or slow moving.

The issue is exacerbated by erosion of riverbanks further upstream or heavy rainfall depositing mud into the river, along with material washing in with the tide.

Each of their marinas is situated in its own unique, picturesque location meaning it’s subject to its own individual range of tidal and physical factors. Therefore, the pattern and scale of siltation will differ between the marinas in the network, with no two marinas dredging requirements ever being the same.