January 17, 2024

Research Update: Monitoring the Impact of Beneficially Used Dredge Material

  • news

In a collaborative effort, Engineering With Nature researchers joined forces with researchers from Virginia Tech and the University of Florida to investigate the establishment of a newly nourished mudflat at the Heislerville Dike in New Jersey.

The Heislerville Dike, situated in the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area, faced an imminent risk of failure due to wave action from the adjacent Delaware Bay. To address this challenge, the USACE Philadelphia District recently completed a Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (BUDM) nourishment project, utilizing material from the Maurice River federal navigation channel to fortify the marsh and mudflat in front of the dike.

The dike, a crucial element in preventing wave-induced erosion, protects valuable habitat ponds behind it. The BUDM placement involved dredging approximately 74,000 cubic yards of material, resulting in significant elevation gain due to the presence of coarse sand and oyster shell.

Maurice River BUDM at the start of dredging (Left) and ~one month later (Right).
Aerial view of BUDM nourishment area (Left) and nourished mudflat post BUDM completion (Right). Aerial photo provided by University of Pennsylvania, Weitzman School of Design’s Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab).

Given the complexity of monitoring coastal mudflats, the research team, led by Dr. Brian Harris from ERDC-CHL, partnered with Dr. Nina Stark from the University of Florida and Freddie Falcone from Virginia Tech. The team employed free-fall penetrometer (FFP) measurements and soil core collection to assess the relative soil strength and compare the nourished mudflat with an adjacent native mudflat. The FFP measurements, a rapid geotechnical engineering method, provided a high-resolution dataset with over 80 unique points across both mudflats in less than three hours. This dataset will be instrumental in analyzing the early site geomorphology and understanding how the nourished mudflat develops over time.

This research aligns with the need to identify methods and best practices for monitoring and surveying projects in wetlands and shallow water environments through remote sensing. The findings from this investigation will contribute valuable insights to the broader understanding of coastal resilience and the beneficial use of dredged material.

Field crew heading out to study mudflat (Left) and Freddie Falcone (VT) performing the FFP at the nourished mudflat (Right).

Research Projects

This project will refine remote sensing techniques to monitor morphological and ecological trends of beneficial use o...
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

More Posts

Remote Sensing to Elevate Nature-Based Solutions for USACE

Remote Sensing to Elevate Nature-Based Solutions for USACE

USACE is quantifying the impact of nature based solutions by using remote sensing technology in…
Investigating The Relationship Between Soil Respiration Rates And Stable Carbon Pools

Investigating The Relationship Between Soil Respiration Rates And Stable Carbon Pools

At the 7 February 2024 Society of Wetlands Scientists Biogeochemistry Section Webinar, Anthony Mirabito, a…
EWN Workshop Explores 3D Printing with Dredged Sediment for Nature-Inspired Infrastructure

EWN Workshop Explores 3D Printing with Dredged Sediment for Nature-Inspired Infrastructure

The recent Engineering With Nature® (EWN) Workshop on 3D Printing Natural Material for Nature-Inspired Infrastructure…