In collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the Beneficial Use Planning Manual (“Identifying, Planning, and Financial Beneficial Use Projects Using Dredged Material”) which explains that most sediment can be put to beneficial use:
A common misperception among the public is that dredge material is usually contaminated; in fact, a significant portion of material dredged from U.S. waters is not contaminated…the promotion of beneficial uses continues to require a shift from the common perspective of dredge material as a waste product to one in which this material is viewed as a valuable resource that can provide multiple benefits to society (USEPA, 2007, p. 5-9).
The Utah Lake Restoration Project is aligned with the national dredging policy both in restoring Utah Lake as the largest natural freshwater lake in Utah and providing beneficial and productive use of dredge material for “wetland creation, beach nourishment, and development projects” (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2015, p. 1-2).
ISLAND DREDGE CONTAINMENT AREAS
Storing and sequestering the nutrient-loaded sediment in Utah Lake is vital to restoring the lake’s water quality. Available data indicates the nutrient-loaded sediment does not contain industrial pollutants, and can be stored and sequestered. The Utah Lake Restoration Project is designed to contain nutrient-loaded sediment so it does not leach back into the water column.
Islands play a critical role in restoring Utah Lake Water quality by:
- Storing and sequestering fine silts which are easily resuspended in the water column
- Storing and sequestering nutrient-loaded sediment
- Increasing the depth of the lake
- Reducing wave height and forces