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Promoting Sustainability of Sensitive Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Habitats with Innovative Dredging and Placement Practices

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Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) habitats provide a variety of important ecosystem services, including fish habitat, nutrient sequestration, and protection from currents and waves. Some research suggests that open-water sediment placement of dredge material harms SAV habitats in the short-term, while other research suggests long term protective benefits that results in an increased and denser area of SAV coverage. This project will evaluate historical, ongoing, and future innovative dredging and placement activities in various geographical locations to more fully distinguish between short-term and long-term impacts to SAV habitat. The project aims to elucidate innovative approaches for sediment placement of dredge material for the purpose of promoting the long-term protective benefits to SAV habitat and the associated environmental, social, and flood risk reduction benefits.

Dr. Emily Russ at Barnegat Bay, field photo, October 2021. Source: Matt Balazik.

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Research Ecologist, Environmental Laboratory, ERDC

Research Biologist, Environmental Laboratory, ERDC


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