U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
| Engineer Research and Development Center | Environmental Laboratory
Maintenance of inland and intracoastal waterways for navigation is essential for national and international trade, job creation, and national security. These waterways also provide hydropower, flood protection, municipal water supply, agricultural irrigation, recreation, and regional development. The US Army Corps of Engineers' role in maintaining and improving these waterways began in 1824 and, today, the Corps maintains over 12,000 miles (19,200 km) of waterways throughout the United States. Corps and contractor-owned dredges annually remove over 270 million cubic yards (cy) of sediment from over 150 projects in the United States.
Several types of dredges are typically used for excavating sediments to construct new waterways or maintain navigation depths in channels. Cutterhead pipeline, hopper, and mechanical dredges are the three primary types used throughout U.S. waterways. The type used depends on factors such as sediment type, location, environmental considerations, and wave conditions. The dredge type of concern with endangered sea turtle interactions is the hopper dredge. More ...