Improving confidence in the sustainable use of muddy dredged material
Dredged material produced in the UK is rarely used beneficially to enhance or create new mud flat or salt marsh systems, partly due to uncertainties about the behaviour of muddy dredged material when placed on inter-tidal areas. By improving scientific knowledge and understanding of the impact, if any, of such schemes and the manner in which they evolve it may be possible to gain sufficient confidence in the technique to allow larger scale and more widespread use.
HR Wallingford and CEFAS carried out research for Defra to improve the knowledge and understanding of the main processes governing the success or failure of beneficial use schemes which utilise the placement of muddy dredged material. The main emphasis of the study was to undertake physical and biological monitoring of a large beneficial use scheme in the Orwell Estuary, part of the amelioration measures for the development of the Trinity III(2) Container Terminal at Felixstowe. The study investigated the issue of larger scale application of muddy dredged material and the comprehensive monitoring of changes in physics and biology after placement.
The results have led to an increased understanding of ecological re-colonisation providing a sound basis for discussion of the timescale of biological recovery of direct intertidal placement. The study provides a basis for improved confidence in the sustainable use of muddy dredged material at larger scales in flood defence and habitat management.
The study provides a basis for improved confidence in the sustainable use of muddy dredged material at larger scales in flood defence and habitat management.