Innovative Reuse

When dredged material can be used to develop or manufacture industrial, horticultural, or agricultural products, it’s called Innovative Reuse. Innovative reuse applications for dredged material are a promising component of the long-term plan to maintain the depth of Port of Baltimore deepwater channels.

For detailed information about the Port’s innovation programs including project details and how to start the dredged material sample application process, visit the Innovative Reuse / Beneficial Use (IRBU) Web Tool.

Shared Goal

The Innovative Reuse and Beneficial Use Program goals are to make long-term, sustainable programs and projects to address capacity recovery from the Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility (DMCF). This is an implemented component of the Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP) in Maryland, and to promote the long-term viability of the Port of Baltimore.

For more detailed information on CAD, please download our fact sheet and frequently asked questions:

Fact Sheet

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Working in partnership with the Innovative Reuse Committee, which provides strategy development advice, the DMMP has been exploring new uses for dredged materials for over 15 years. Seven MPA-supported applied research and development projects are underway to help make large-scale IR a reality.


All IR projects are based on Maryland Department of Environment Innovative Reuse and Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Guidance Document criteria, which guide prospective users of dredged material through the various necessary steps, permits, or approvals necessary based on the proposed project, including sampling requirements, environmental and public health standards, and long-term management needs. Request more information and start the dredged material sample application process.

Check out this video to see innovative and beneficial reuse of dredged material in action.

Innovative Reuse in Action

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Ridgely’s Cove: Remedial Capping

Using dredged material from the Cox Creek DMCF, MPA helped restore the underutilized Ridgely's Cove park property in Baltimore City into a multi-use recreation area with walking trails.

Cox Creek Sediment Technology and Reuse Facility: Preparing for Innovation

MPA has acquired property adjacent to the Cox Creek DMCF for the primary purpose of furthering long-term innovative capacity recovery efforts through large-scale IR of dredged material and future cargo terminal/maritime use. The Cox Creek Sediment Technology and Reuse (STAR) Facility will help in the capacity and demand planning beyond a 20-year time frame and is part of the 2020 IRBU Strategy.

Working with partners at MDE, MPA will be developing remediation action plans for the Cox Creek STAR Facility over the next year. The goal is to start development of the site for IR activities as different sections of the property are remediated. Large-scale IR activities at the Cox Creek STAR facility are necessary for continuing the mandated 20-year plan for Harbor material placement capacity.

Dredged material will be excavated, dewatered, and stockpiled onsite at the Cox Creek STAR Facility to be used for opportunities to further the IR/BU program.

Current Research and Development Projects

To date, seven organizations have developed prototypes or proposals to use dredged material for commercial application, including:

Belden-Eco Products: Ceramic Bricks and Permeable Pavers

Dredged material pavers have the potential to be successful residential and commercial products. These products could be marketed/sold as a stormwater management solution for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


FasTrak Express: Growing Sod with Re-engineered Soil

This collaboration developed a reengineered soil for growing sod. The dredged material was blended with mushroom compost and sand as an alternative to the traditional growing medium in the sod growing process.


Northgate Environmental Management: Concrete Traffic Barriers and Shoreline Protection Structures

Dredged material is a cost-effective key ingredient in a new concrete barrier mix for low-stress uses like sidewalks, curbs, and gutters. Another potential use could include modular 3D-printed shoreline protection structures that could be considered to address coastal stabilization concerns including erosion from sea level rise and storm surge.


Suscon Products: A New Approach to Concrete

This is an exploration in using the sand component from the dredged material in concrete mixtures for use in products like retainer walls which would be a cost effective use of this local, natural resource.

Harford Industrial Minerals: Sustainable Lightweight Aggregate

A study on the feasibility of using dredged material to produce the lightweight aggregate used in a variety of applications, including concrete. If successful and at a large scale, this effort could provide a locally sourced and produced sustainable alternative to virgin aggregate material typically obtained from quarries.


CSI Environmental: Upland and Shoreline Berms

This project seeks to demonstrate the feasibility of using dredged material to develop berms using geotextile tubes at the BGE Spring Garden facility. The berms are anticipated to create and enhance shoreline resiliency and provide ecological uplift at the site.


University of Maryland: Vegetative Earth Berms

Research about the use of dredged material to create vegetative earth berms, or short man-made ridge, is currently underway at the Cox Creek DMCF. This study focuses on the use of dredged material in the construction of vegetative earthen berms as part of erosion and flood control measures.


Request more information and start the dredged material sample application process

This video provides all the details about the application process