As increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contribute to global warming, it is becoming more important to consider the carbon footprint of hydraulic engineering projects. This carbon footprint is more complex than previously thought however, as it can also include the carbon dynamics of the sediments from which projects are built. The purpose of this study was to provide a first approximation from sediment-related GHG emissions of dredged sediments. Using the case study of the clay ripening pilot project (‘Kleirijperij’) in Groningen, the Netherlands, one phase of sediment processing was examined: the ripening of dredged sediments for use as a clay material in dyke construction.
Over the past decades, there has been a growing interest in exploring innovative ways to minimise the environmental footprint of coastal developments and in nature-based approaches for shoreline protection. At Mubarraz Island near Abu Dhabi (UAE), an international oil company beneficially reused ~12 million m³ of dredged material to protect pipelines, construct a causeway and create mangrove habitat to manage coastal erosion. This ‘Working with Nature’ approach has provided a cost-effective nature-based solution for shoreline protection, with added benefits for biodiversity conservation.