U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Dredging Operations Technical Support

Beneficial Uses of Dredged Sediment

USACE Federally Sponsored Programs & Initiatives

Center for Contaminated Sediments (CCS) Dredging Innovations Group (DIG) Dredging Operations and Environmental Research (DOER) Dredging Operations Technical Support Program (DOTS) Engineering With Nature (EWN) Thin Layer Placement of Dredged Sediment (TLP) Threatened and Endangered Species Team (TEST)

USACE Dredge Related Databases

Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor Database (BSAF) Engineering With Nature ProMap (EWN ProMAP) Environmental Effects & Dredging and Disposal (E2D2) Environmental Residue Effects Database (ERED) Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site Database (ODMDS)

Main USACE Websites

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
  • Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX
    Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX 1 – Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX
    Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX 2 – Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX
    Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston Bay, TX 3 – Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Drake Island, Apalachicola Bay, FL
    Drake Island, Apalachicola Bay, FL 1 – Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Drake Island, Apalachicola Bay, FL
    Drake Island, Apalachicola Bay, FL 2 - Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Miller Sands, Columbia River, OR - Marsh
    Miller Sands Island, Columbia River, OR – Marsh Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
  • Miller Sands, Columbia River, OR - Upland
    Miller Sands Island, Columbia River, OR - Upland Habitat Development – Photo Credit Nathan Beane
USACE / ERDC / EL / DOTS / BU

Beneficial Uses of Dredged Sediment

contact us links

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredging program maintains riverine, estuarine, and coastal channels to meet the Nation’s navigation needs. But, sediment movement within the watershed manifests as shoals in many channels. Over 200 million cubic yards of material is dredged annually from the bottom of federally-constructed and maintained navigation channels to maintain safe passage in navigation channels for vessels. The dredged material consists of rock, gravel, sand, silt, clay, and organic matter, most commonly a mixture of these.

Identifying, procuring, designing, constructing, and permitting suitable placement sites for this large volume of material is a continual challenge and increasingly expensive. The USACE is increasingly implementing innovative and sustainable beneficial use (BU) practices of dredged sediment to meet these challenges. Beneficial uses are defined as “productive and positive uses of dredged material, which cover broad use categories ranging from fish and wildlife habitat development, to human recreation, to industrial/commercial uses” (USACE “Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material,” Engineer Manual 1110-2-5026). Overall, about 10-15% of dredged material requires special handling, while the remaining 85% is available for beneficial use. Of this available sediment, approximately 30-35% is currently used beneficially to deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits.

This website synthesizes state-of-the-science practices and innovations for the sustainable management of dredged material within and outside the USACE. It supports the USACE navigation mission by encouraging the expansion of beneficial use and sustainable dredged material management.

This website:

  1. Documents BU successes in the USA and worldwide illustrating the state-of-the-practice.
  2. Provides relevant USACE guidance documents including engineering manuals, techniques, and key policy documents.
  3. Provides technical publications relevant to BU including those external to the USACE.
  4. Provides links to other BU websites or resources.