PHOTO: Removing sediment from Mississippi River with Dredge Hurley

The Dredge Hurley, a dustpan dredge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District, has been very busy these days, removing sediment from navigation channels in the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, La.

U.S. Army photo by Ryan Labadens

Dustpan dredges, like the Hurley, are unique to the Mississippi River system and work to maintain a navigable channel for commercial shipping to move unimpeded, said USACE.

These particular dredges have a large suction head with high velocity water jets that loosen the silt and sand materials on the riverbed in order to maintain the river’s sediment load.

As the river’s stage rises during the spring, the dredged material is naturally scoured and transported with the bedload, where it may benefit downstream environments, including the Bird’s Foot Delta in southeast Louisiana.

Built in 1993, the Dredge Hurley is the largest dustpan dredge in North America, coming in at 348.5 feet long and 58 feet wide.