Dredging is important to the conduct of maritime commerce worldwide. Dredging activities occur on inland waterways, within ports and harbors, on coastal areas, as well as in support of new construction projects.
Maintenance of navigational waterways depths is a continuous process in many ports and harbors, whose bottom contours are constantly changing due to silting near the mouth of rivers. As ships become larger and draft requirements (depth of the ship’s hull below the waterline) increase, ports may need to deepen their channels to allow for deeper ship drafts1, in order to remain competitive with other ports. In short, dredging is essentially the underwater removal of sand, soil or silt and its movement from one place to another, for purposes of deepening a channel or navigable waterway. Dredging often makes use of the removed material, for beach replenishment, land reclamation, or for fill in commercial or industrial projects.
MAINTENANCE OF PORTS AND WATERWAYS
Over the years, dredging has made a significant contribution to the development of many world economies. Construction and maintenance of harbors, canals, and waterways have all directly benefited from the dredging industry. Additionally, dredging is key in coastal protection, land reclamation, and environmental restoration projects.
In addition, there are many other applications which dredging is key. In many places, agriculture depends on irrigation and drainage with the use of canals. Dredging is often used for infrastructure projects such as road construction. Trenches for pipelines and cables and more are often aided with the assistance of dredging as well.