USACE completes substantial construction of beneficial use of dredged sediment placement area for new wetland in Ashtabula

Stone is placed in the Ashtabula Harbor as part of a submerged stone wall in creation of a beneficial use of dredged sediment placemeent area in Ashtabula, Ohio, October 7. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Great Lakes Docks and Materials, L.L.C. completed substantial construction of the area in October 2021. (U.S. Army Photo by Joseph Kolat)

Posted on December 1, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District and its contractor, Michigan-based Great Lakes Docks and Materials, L.L.C., have completed substantial construction of a beneficial use of dredged sediment placement area in Ashtabula Harbor.

This phase of the project included creation of a submerged 1,500 linear foot stone wall off the west and south portions of the Ashtabula Harbor East Breakwater at a cost of $6.5 million. The wall will retain approximately 400,000 cubic yards of dredged material used to create a new wetland ecosystem.

Construction began in late March and was completed by October.

This project is being conducted in close coordination with the Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“I am highly encouraged by the completion of this substantial construction for the beneficial use of dredged sediment placement area in Ashtabula Harbor,” said Congressman Dave Joyce. “By rebuilding ecosystems and providing a cost-effective disposal method for dredged material, this project will help further northeast Ohio’s environmental sustainability and ensure the Harbor can continue to put money back into the Ashtabula community and drive our regional economy. I applaud the USACE Buffalo District, Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Department of Natural Resource for this partnership and will continue fighting to provide federal funding that supports not only the critical work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but also our local efforts to protect the Great Lakes.”

“Nearshore placement to re-establish habitats is one of the most promising options for beneficial use of material dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, commander of USACE Buffalo District. “We’re very proud of our partnership with the Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Department of Natural Resources as we strive to innovate and deliver long-term solutions for restoring ecosystems on the Great Lakes.”

“We at the Ashtabula City Port Authority are very excited at the progress the Army Corps has made, and look forward to their continued efforts to rebuild ecosystems while helping us with a solution for our dredged material,” said Eddy Eckart, consultant for the Ashtabula City Port Authority.

The beneficial use of dredged material project at Ashtabula is being conducted under the Corps of Engineers Continuing Authority Program Section 204 and is cost-shared 65% federal (USACE) and 35% non-federal (ACPA). When the decade-long project is completed, it will create approximately 16.5 acres of pristine wetland habitat.

Planting of native species in the wetland will include submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation that have the ability to compete with invasive species and provide high-quality aquatic habitat for both aquatic species and migratory/resident bird species.

The next step of the project is placement of dredged material. USACE plans to issue a contract to place the first 100,000 CY of sediment at the site as part of the routine operations and maintenance (O&M) dredging efforts for the harbor. This work is expected to begin in the spring-to-early summer timeframe. The remaining sediment will be placed via future O&M dredging contracts.

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.

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