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Understanding Dredging


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A Pianc Envicom Report on the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material

€ 20,-


Presented during:

WODCON XXIII - Dredging is changing - The Practice. The Science. The Business.


B. Suedel, V. Magar, L. Sittoni


"Background Annually, billions of cubic meters of material are dredged globally to maintain safe navigation for commerce and recreation. Navigational maintenance is integral to the world economy, without which the safe waterborne transport of cargo, cruise ships, and pleasure craft would not be possible. With the need to manage dredged material, several constraints pose challenges to increasing sediment beneficial use due to concerns over impacts to surface waters, displacement of aquatic habitat, release of contaminants into the environment, or logistics. These constraints in the face of growing societal needs motivate the development of innovative and sustainable alternatives, including identifying sediment beneficial uses that foster multiple engineering, economic, social, and environmental benefits. Beneficial use is naturally aligned with sustainability, life-cycle analyses, and circular-economy approaches and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The use of sediment as a resource represents opportunities towards enabling sustainable practices that can realize engineering, environmental, social, and economic benefits. Sediment beneficial uses include coastal resiliency management to counteract coastal erosion, manufacturing of locally produced building materials, establishment of wetlands and other habitats, and land reclamation. Infrastructure and community resilience, climate-change impacts, habitat management, and costs all can be leveraged to successfully identify and integrate sediment beneficial use into projects. PIANC Working Group report PIANC Working Group (WG) on Beneficial Use (WG214) is developing a report that will provide technical information and guidance regarding the state of the practice for dredged sediment as a resource, drawing from existing approaches and best practices. The report's objective is to provide a decisive step towards internationally mainstreaming BU. Because current socio-economic challenges likely require local and regional understanding of governance-related issues, the report is focused on the information collected by extensive interaction with stakeholders and on regional considerations. In this manner, the report builds on relevant reports published by PIANC (1992, 2009), the Central Dredging Association (CEDA 2019a,b,c), the International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC; Laboyrie et al. 2018), and the European Sediment Network (SedNet), among others. The report considers and evaluates the following: Concepts of sediment use and existing scientific knowledge related to different uses; sediment contamination and how contamination can constrain sediment reuse alternatives; use of cost-benefit and ecosystem services frameworks as tools to better understand how the value of different beneficial use options can be quantified; and compare different beneficial use and disposal alternatives. This report provides details about how dredged sediment can used to deliver environmental and other societal benefits. It describes the key issues associated with such beneficial use projects and identifies valuable international practices. It informs and provides motivation for the increasing beneficial use of dredged material on a global scale. Increased beneficial use, in harmony with nature (i.e., Working with Nature, Building with Nature, and Engineering With Nature(r); Bridges et al. 2018, 2021; EcoShape 2020; PIANC 2008; Van Eeklen and Bouw 2020), will foster greater circularity and improved environmental and social sustainability. Achieving these ambitions will necessitate substantial changes to established perspectives and sediment management practices. Greater strategic"

Keywords: Beneficial use; Dredged material; Sustainability; Nature-based solutions; PIANC



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