Beneficial use of dredge materials

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A variety of projects in other regions have used dredge materials to build or elevate marsh plain. This type of habitat enhancement work has a limited record in Puget Sound, possibly including a few small sites in urban estuaries. Jetty Island, Everett, has been built by dredged sediment, and includes a spit behind which some saltmarsh is developing. Eelgrass has been planted on fill material in limited places in Puget Sound, per Ron Thom. Are there any other examples out there?


  • The following articles were suggested as a useful starting place for analysis of beneficial reuse of dredge materials. It would be useful to develop document pages and create a synthesis here.
  • Streever, W. J. 2000. Spartina alterniflora marshes on dredged material: a critical review of the ongoing debate over success. Wetl. Ecol. Mgmt. 8:295-316.
  • Shafer, D. J. & W. J. Streever, 2000. A comparison of 28 natural and dredged material salt marshes in Texas with an emphasis on geomorphological variables. Wetlands Ecology and Management 8: 353–366.
  • Edwards, K. R. & C. E. Proffitt, 2003. Comparison of wetland structural characteristics between created and natural salt marshes in Southwest Louisiana, USA. Wetlands 23: 344–356.
  • Weinstein, M.P., Weishar, L.L., 2002. Beneficial use of dredged material to enhance the restoration trajectories of formerly diked lands. Ecol. Eng. 19, 187–201.
  • Philip WIlliams & Associates and Phyllis M. Faber. 2004. Design guidelines for tidal wetland restoration in San Francisco Bay. The Bay Institute. (available for download at
  • Winfield, T. P., J. Florsheim, and P. Williams. 1997. Creating tidal marshes on dredged materials: design features and biological implications. In K. B. Macdonald and F. Weinmann (eds.), Wetland and Riparian Restoration: Taking a Broader View. EPA 910-R-97-007.
  • Armitage, A. R., C-L. Ho, E. N. Madrid, M. T. Bell and A. Quigg. 2014. The influence of habitat construction technique on the ecological characteristics of a restored brackish marsh. Ecol. Engineer. 62:33-42.
  • Costa-Pierce, B. A., and M. P. Weinstein. 2002. Use of dredged materials for coastal restoration. Ecol. Engineer. 19:181-186.
  • Functional assessment of differential sediment slurry applications in a deteriorating brackish marsh. SA Graham, IA Mendelssohn - Ecological Engineering, 2013 – Elsevier
  • Camille L. Stagg and Irving A. Mendelssohn 2011. Controls on resilience and stability in a sediment-subsidized salt marsh. Ecological Applications 21:1731–1744.
  • CL Stagg, IA Mendelssohn. 2010. Restoring ecological function to a submerged salt marsh. - Restoration Ecology, Wiley Online Library


Coos Bay, Oregon

  • South Slough Estuarine Research Reserve: Though they didn't use dredged sediment, at the Kunz Marsh old dike material was used as fill to experimentally manipulate marsh elevation of the subsided restoration site. The site was divided into four experimental zones receiving different levels of fill material.

San Francisco Bay

Chesapeake Bay

Gulf of Mexico

Agency Links[edit]

The Army Corps of Engineers is the lead federal agency for sediment dredging and beneficial re-use, and they maintain a Dredge Material Management Program website. Their User Manual for Dredged Material Evaluation and Disposal Procedures has been developed for Washington state.

The Washington Department of Natural Resources is the state agency overseeing dredging, and their Dredged Material Management Program provides many resources and contacts.

Other Wiki Resources[edit]

A Stillaguamish Delta Dredged Sediment Re-use project is being considered, and a framework has been developed for evaluating sites for the beneficial re-use of sediment.