HR Wallingford has released an article in which the company talks about how “cutting emissions by refining dredging practices and techniques is one of the most obvious areas for ports and harbours to make carbon savings, and how this can result in significantly lower costs and can sometimes provide ecological benefits too”.
Among other things the article also looked at the dredged material and its potential to benefit and restore habitats.
Sand and mud from dredging can be used to restore and create habitats, as well as to provide offsetting for habitat losses from new infrastructure. As well as benefitting wildlife, intertidal habitats may also help store carbon from the atmosphere.
Re-using dredged material near the site can help prevent potential erosion, which could occur if sediment is continually removed and never replenished.
Dredged material can also be used to create new or raise existing land in the construction of breakwaters or flood defences, or to replenish beaches.
The effectiveness of re-using sand has been demonstrated around Poole in the UK. For several decades, sand excavated during maintenance dredging from the harbour and approach channels has regularly replenished the surrounding beaches at Poole, Bournemouth and Swanage.