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Tag: Dredging spoil--Management
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  • South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation: An Overview of Challenges and Opportunities

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is conducting the “South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation” to further understand sediment dynamics and to develop a comprehensive regional sediment management plan for the south shore of Long Island, New York. Regional sediment management is a systems approach using best management practices for more efficient and effective use of sediments in coastal, estuarine, and inland environments. This investigation seeks to characterize sediment movement on the south shore of Long Island as a holistic system across the entire study area. It focuses on the regional system post-Hurricane Sandy (October 2012) as the storm significantly altered the physical landscape with severe shoreline erosion, which resulted in the construction of projects to reduce the risk of future storms and stakeholder priorities with a new emphasis on bay-side sediment dynamics, such as channel shoaling and disappearing wetlands. Despite the fact the storm caused severe erosion, the equilibrium beach profile, depth of closure, and general shoreline orientation seem to be unaffected. Previous studies have characterized sediment movement at specific sections of the south shore, but these data have not been incorporated to create a system-wide perspective. Coordinating sediment management across the six Atlantic Ocean inlets, Great South Bay Channel, Intracoastal Waterway, and coastal storm risk management (CSRM) projects could save the federal government millions of dollars in dredging and sand placement actions. This technical note presents the progress the investigation has made to date and will be followed with a more in-depth technical report titled South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation: A Post-Hurricane Sandy Shoreline Evaluation, currently in preparation.
  • An Assessment of Long-Term, Multipurpose Ecosystem Functions and Engineering Benefits Derived from Historical Dredged Sediment Beneficial Use Projects

    Abstract: The beneficial use of dredged materials improves environmental outcomes while maximizing navigation benefits and minimizing costs, in accordance with the principles of the Engineering With Nature® (EWN) initiative. Yet, few studies document the long-term benefits of innovative dredged material management strategies or conduct comprehensive life-cycle analysis because of a combination of (1) short monitoring time frames and (2) the paucity of constructed projects that have reached ecological maturity. In response, we conducted an ecological functional and engineering benefit assessment of six historic (>40 years old) dredged material–supported habitat improvement projects where initial postconstruction beneficial use monitoring data was available. Conditions at natural reference locations were also documented to facilitate a comparison between natural and engineered landscape features. Results indicate the projects examined provide valuable habitat for a variety of species in addition to yielding a number of engineering (for example, shoreline protection) and other (for example, carbon storage) benefits. Our findings also suggest establishment of ecological success criteria should not overemphasize replicating reference conditions but remain focused on achieving specific ecological functions (that is, habitat and biogeochemical cycling) and engineering benefits (that is, storm surge reduction, navigation channel maintenance) achievable through project design and operational management.
  • Incorporating Color Change Propensity into Dredged Material Management to Increase Beneficial Use Opportunities

    Dredged materials provide a number of beneficial use opportunities, including beach nourishment, habitat creation and restoration, and other activities. In situ sediment color is important for determining aesthetic and habitat suitability, for beach nourishment, and for other projects. However, dredged materials must meet locally established color compatibility requirements (for example, material cannot be too dark). Often, potential sediment sources are close to meeting specified color thresholds, and previous observations suggest that sediments lighten over time. In response to these observations, this study quantified sediment color change potential in a dredged m material management context. Results indicate that dredged material sediment color responded to changes in secondary color components, sediment mixing, and photolytic bleaching improving the sediment color for beneficial use application. Findings allowed for development of a conceptual color change capacity framework and supported development of tools for resource managers to incorporate color change dynamic into planning and operations activities. The following report provides a framework for determining the color change capacity of dredged materials using (1) a comprehensive laboratory approach and (2) a semiquantitative index based on source material and placement location conditions. These tools allow practitioners to incorporate dredged-material color change into resource management decisions, thus increasing beneficial use opportunities.