Challenges and Opportunities in Maintaining Lake Erie’s Maritime Highways

This article reviews the many concerns that arise as consequences of dredging done to maintain shipping channels that feed Lake Erie. Focusing on the ports of Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, the author considers the options for coping with the sediment that is dredged in the constant maintenance effort required for these maritime “highways.” The dredging is done by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and includes approximately 1 milion cubic yards of silt and sediment every year. The article focuses on changes upcoming in 2020 which will ban open-lake disposal of dredge in Lake Erie, resulting in the need to repurpose the annual dredged material. Topics include the variations in the dredge sediment from different areas; repurposing dredge as topsoil, to build wetland habitat, or to re-vitalize agricultural fields; the economic vitality of the port industries; the need for different depths in the shipping channels that lead to different ports; algae and drinking water issues; strategies to repurpose dredge as sand in building material, for cement products, and for soil stabilization; the need to assess contaminants in the dredged materials; collaborations between local businesses and the port authorities; and the use of confined disposal facilities (CDFs). One sidebar familiarizes readers with the story of the Great Black Swamp, an area in Ohio near Lake Erie that was drained by the end of the 1800s.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 10-21
  • Serial:
    • Erosion Control
    • Volume: 25
    • Issue Number: 7
    • Publisher: Forester Media
    • ISSN: 1073-7227

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01706104
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 21 2019 12:45PM