Two St. Louis River Remediation Projects win WEDA awards

Each year at its annual WEDA Dredging Summit & Expo, Western Dredging Association presents Environmental Excellence Awards to outstanding projects/programs.

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis River Alliance

In 2023 the categories for the awards were reimagined and two Environmental Excellence Awards were given.

An award in the category “Partnerships and Outreach/Education” was presented to the Spirit Lake Sediment Remediation Project, and a second in the category “Innovation” to J.F. Brennan Company for the Howards Bay Project.

The winners were announced at the WEDA Summit & Expo held from July 17 to 20, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

WEDA’s 2023 Environmental Excellence Award for Partnerships and Outreach/Education was presented to the Spirit Lake Sediment Remediation Project, which is in the St. Louis River in Duluth, Minnesota. The project was executed by a team comprising EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC. (EA), BARR Engineering and AECOM, and J.F. Brennan, in cooperation with the Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) within the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and their project partner, the United States Steel Corporation {USS).

According to WEDA, the project fulfills the criteria for the Partnerships and Outreach/Education Award including: significant environmental benefits from pairing a large-scale sediment remediation project using a combined technology approach with extensive habitat restoration and creation of new open water; a partnership structure working group; collaboration through feasibility, design, pre-design investigations, permitting, and design modifications and construction with federal, state, and local agencies and tribes; unique approaches using engineering with nature.

WEDA’s 2023 Environmental Excellence Award for Innovation was presented to the Howards Bay Navigation and Cleanup Dredging Project, which is located within the St. Louis River Area of Concern (SLRAOC) in Superior, Wisconsin, and is an important part of the Port of Duluth-Superior and the home of the Fraser Shipyards (Fraser) and drydocks.

J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan), partnered with Arcadis and the US Army Corps of Engineers, to work on the Howards Bay Remediation project using innovative methods to secure a positive outcome. A partnership of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), Fraser, and the City of Superior (City) was organized through the Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) to co-fund and achieve this project.

Throughout the project, constant innovation, communication and timely re-thinking between Brennan, project partners, Arcadis, and subcontractors were key to success.

While the project included numerous unforeseen challenges, all parties involved upheld the ultimate goal of providing leadership and teamwork to address these concerns while also maintaining a strict window of completion, said WEDA in the release.