Channeling Innovation

Sediment to Solutions at Work Today

The ongoing need to dredge to maintain safe passage for vessels making their way through the navigation channels means MPA must continually plan for placement opportunities. Since finding new placement capacity is challenging, MPA has been channeling innovations to efficiently manage dredged material.

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How Can Dredged Material Be Safely Used?

The wide range of applications for dredged material includes:

Construction materials

Manufactured topsoil

Brownfield reclamation

Habitat development

Restoration of eroded wetlands

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Working in partnership with stakeholders, MPA is building the future of dredged material management in Maryland to include a diverse portfolio of placement sites and reuse opportunities. Innovative Reuse, Beneficial Use, and Confined Aquatic Disposal are the newest parts of this portfolio, currently being implemented through new studies, pilot programs, and habitat restoration projects.

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Innovative Reuse

Maryland’s Dredged Material Management Act of 2001 defines Innovative Reuse as using dredged material in the development or manufacturing of commercial, industrial, horticultural, agricultural, or other products. MPA has been working with a variety of organizations to develop new uses for dredged material and have identified some exciting new opportunities.

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Beneficial Use

Maryland’s Dredged Material Management Act of 2001 defines beneficial use as using dredged material in Chesapeake Bay or tributary waters for things like the restoration of underwater grasses, island restoration, stabilization of eroding shorelines, the creation or restoration of wetlands, and the creation, restoration, or enhancement of fish or shellfish habitats. Explore how MPA is implementing Beneficial Use techniques today.

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Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD)

Finding new locations for dredged material placement sites in the Baltimore region is a challenge, and the Port is required to have a forward-looking 20-year plan. Confined Aquatic Disposal, or CAD, is a technique that MPA is exploring that has been used successfully by other ports in the country where dredged material is placed and contained underwater.

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These innovative solutions are based on Maryland Department of Environment Guidance Document criteria. The Guidance Document provides a transparent process in determining the final usage of the dredged material which may include sampling and analysis plans, permits, environmental standards, public health standards, and long-term management needs.