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Understanding Dredging


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Living Lab for MUD

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Presented during:

CEDA Dredging Days 2017 - Sustainable Dredging - Continued Benefits


van Eekelen E.M.M., Sittoni L., van der Goot F., Nieboer H.E., Baptist M.J., Boer J., Tonneijck F.H.

Abstract: World-wide the turbidity of many rivers, estuaries and shallow seas is increasing, leading to degradation of water quality and growing siltation. Large volumes of dredged sediments are disposed and lost offshore, while coastal regions and river banks are eroding, exposing towns to more recurrent flooding. A huge amount of sediment is trapped in reservoirs behind dams, reducing their storage and flood mitigation capabilities. These are all indicators that smart and integrated sediment management is necessary. At the same time, coastal development activities demand for large quantities of sediment as building material, with many areas of the world characterized by fine sediments (mud), especially in large river delta regions. 


Integrated sediment management approaches leveraging on Building with Nature (BwN) concepts represents a potentially powerful solution to these enormous world-wide challenges and societal needs. With this in mind, EcoShape initiated the Living Lab for Mud (LLM), an initiative that aims to develop integrated knowledge and technologies to improve understanding and implementation of management, use and reuse of (fine and soft) sediments often linked to the reinforcement, safety and restoration of coastal ecosystems (e.g. salt marshes and mangroves) or land reclamation.


The LLM consists of a series of pilot projects within and outside the Netherlands, which integrate the various aspects and processes of sediment management: from sedimentation and resuspension, to fate and transport, to consolidation and strength development. The LLM integrates these physical processes with biota and socioeconomic aspects, in order to develop feasible, applicable and sustainable BwN based solutions. Pilots include strategic sediment disposal to naturally nourish coastal mudflats (i.e. Mud Motor, The Netherlands), enhancing sediment trapping to encourage mangroves restoration and coastal aggradation (i.e. Demak, Indonesia), and ripening of fine dredged sediments for production of building material (i.e. Kleirijperij, The Netherlands).


This presentation will introduce the LLM initiative and give an overview of these pilot projects.

 Key words: sediment management, Living Lab for Mud, Building with Nature, knowledge program, fine sediment



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