Dredging Management Practices for the Environment

“Facts About Dredging Management Practices for the Environment” describes how to create management guidance for improving environmental performance.

Whilst dredging is required to develop and maintain navigation infrastructures, dredging can also entail varying degrees of risk to the environment. Protecting the environment is therefore an essential, sometimes crucial, part of planning and managing a dredging project. One of the first steps before a project actually starts is the execution of an Environmental Impact Assessment. If this assessment signals that impacts of a project may have significant environmental consequences, management practices for the environment must be established and evaluated.

Environmental impacts of dredging can occur during all phases of a dredging project. So appropriate management practices are necessary for each stage, such as the excavation process, during dredged material placement and also during the transport of the materials. Management practices can also be applied to the selection of equipment as well as to institutional situations like ‘environmental windows’.

An important distinction made is between management practices and specific best management practices (BMPs) applicable to a specific project. Not all management practices are viable options for each and every particular project. Risk assessments must be made, comparisons and evaluations considered and then a ranking of possible management practices will arrive at a “best” management practice for a particular operation. Determining and implementing best management practices is not always simple, and it is sometimes costly, but it is a long term strategy. Using best management practices is an investment that supports the preservation or restoration of natural habitats and resources, which will ultimately lead to better projects and more cooperation amongst all parties involved.

“Facts About Dredging Management Practices for the Environment” answers essential questions such as:

  • Why are dredging Management Practices Necessary?
  • What are Management Practices for the Environment?
  • When should Management Practices for the Environment be implemented?
  • Which Management Practices should be used during the project?
  • What Management Practices are related to equipment?
  • What is an institutional Management Practice?
  • What Management Practices address impacts from the transportation and placement of dredged material?
  • How are Management Practices chosen?
  • What is the difference between “Best” Management Practices and MPs?
  • How is a Best Management Practice determined?
  • Why spend so much effort on finding Best Management Practices?
  • What is the relation between Best MPs and the “precautionary principle”?
  • What is the role of monitoring in evaluating Best MPs?
  • Does the size of the project matter when choosing Best MP?
  • Why is stakeholder participation important in determining Best MPs?
  • Do Best Management Practices make dredging projects more expensive?
  • Who benefits from the implementation of Best Management Practices?
  • Is there one basic set of Best Management Practices that is always appropriate for a dredging project?
  • Are Best Management Practices always beneficial?