In response to a request for projects sent out in February, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received 94 proposals for beneficial use of dredged material pilot projects. The request was pursuant to Section 1122 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, Beneficial Use of Dredged Material. Under this section, the Corps is to establish a pilot program to carry out 10 projects for the beneficial use of dredged material from federal and non-federal navigation channels. Proposed projects may be for providing stormwater damage reduction, promoting public safety, protecting, restoring and creating aquatic ecosystems; promoting recreation; enhancing shorelines, civic improvements; and other placement alternatives that produce public economic or environmental benefits.
The proposals came from 29 states and Puerto Rico. The projects included a range of activities; the majority were for beach renourishment/coastal restoration, wetlands/marsh creation, storm damage risk reduction and sediment reclamation. Other proposals were for using dredged materials for construction projects, floodplain restoration, port expansion and bird habitat. More than half of the projects were in coastal waters with the remainder in rivers.
The Corps is reviewing the proposals to determine program eligibility and identify how each project fulfills the pilot project criteria. The team review should be complete by the end of April, and the group will make a preliminary recommendation for 10 of the projects to Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works by June.