Ten coastal projects that beneficially use dredge material have been chosen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to be pilot projects as authorized by Section 1122 of the 2016 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). After 95 projects were submitted by local communities and NGOs, on December 28th, USACE announced the chosen projects in the Federal Register.
American Shore & Beach Preservation Association is pleased to see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers move forward on the hugely popular Beneficial Use of Dredged Material pilot program authorized in WRDA 2016. Sediment is the critical building block of beaches, dunes and coastal ecosystems. In the face of eroding coastlines and sea level rise, sediment dredged from navigation channels should be treated as a valuable resource, not a waste product to be disposed of as cheaply as possible.
These ten projects were chosen based on their community and/or ecological benefits, their ability to create cost efficiencies by combining projects and how they foster federal, local and stakeholder coordination. We encourage the Army Corps to implement these projects as quickly as possible, and we ask Congress to appropriate the necessary funding to complete these projects. We are pleased that some funding has already been made available to begin these projects in the FY19 Energy & Water appropriations, and expect the Army Corps to proceed with construction using those funds.
Finally, we hope these projects will spur further beneficial use of dredged sediment. We would like to see the analysis of the 85 projects that were submitted but not chosen to be part of the initial pilots. We hope that some of these projects can still be implemented.
In WRDA 2018, Congress increased the number of authorized projects from ten to twenty, so we hope USACE will soon include an additional ten projects to be part of the pilot. Other proposed projects may be implemented simply thru cost-savings derived from planning concurrent dredging and placement timelines. Other projects should be implemented with local sponsors covering the cost of the beneficial placement. And, of course, USACE districts should continue to use existing authorities to maximize beneficial use of dredged material by coordinating navigation project timelines with flood risk management and ecological restoration projects.
Most healthy beaches and coastlines depend on a regular supply of sand to counteract natural erosion processes. Beneficially using dredged sediment is a critical component to regional sediment management, which is the only way our coasts can be sustainably managed to maintain resilience in the face of increasing coastal hazards.
Listed alphabetically by state/territory.
CA …………….. Restoring San Francisco Bay’s Natural Infrastructure with Dredged Sediment: Strategic Placement.
HI ………………. Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor Maintenance Dredging and Beach Restoration.
IL ………………. Public Beach Protection Pilot in Four Illinois Coastal Communities.
MS …………….. Deer Island Lagoon Project.
NJ ………………. Beneficial Use Placement Opportunities in the State of New Jersey Using Navigation Channel Sediments: Barnegat Inlet.
PR ……………… Condado Lagoon.
SC ……………… Crab Bank Seabird Sanctuary.
TX ……………… Hickory Cove Marsh Restoration and Living Shoreline.
WA ……………. Grays Harbor South Jetty Sand Placement Pilot Project.
WI ……………… Mississippi River Upper Pool 4, Pierce County Islands and Head of Lake Pepin Backwater Complex—Beneficial Use of Dredged Material.
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ASBPA Executive Director Derek Brockbank is available (202-827-4246) for comment or interviews.
ABOUT ASBPA: Founded in 1926, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that advocates for healthy coastlines by promoting the integration of science, policies and actions that maintain, protect and enhance the coasts of America. For more information on ASBPA, go to www.asbpa.org, www.facebook.com/AmericanBeaches or www.twitter.com/asbpa.