Beneficial Use Of Dredged Material

Every year in this country, the dredging of shipping channels, harbors, waterways, canals, lakes, and reservoirs produces large quantities of valuable sediment material. Most of this dredged material is clean and suitable for beneficial uses such as beach restoration, shore protection, agricultural uses, habitat enhancement, and many other applications. However, dredged material has not been exploited for its full economic, social, and environmental potential because of costs and the prevailing view that dredged material is waste.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the vast potential for dredged material as a manageable, beneficial resource. This increased awareness has coincided with the growing difficulty in locating new dredged material disposal areas and escalating disposal costs. The increase in beneficial use projects is due also to forward-looking federal, state, and local governmental policies and private initiatives to take full advantage of the natural resources produced by dredging activities regionally and around the country.

Rock Island District makes dredged material available for public use at several locations along the Illinois Waterway and Mississippi River. Anyone interested in the material can haul it away for free. Please see the maps to the left of this page for details.