Water: Dredged Material Management
Factsheet: The National and Regional Dredging Teams
Dredging, or the removal of sediment from the bottom of waterbodies, is essential for the maintenance of U.S. navigation systems and ensures that U.S. ports can be reached by large sea-going vessels. Several hundred million cubic yards of sediment are dredged each year from U.S. waterways, ports, and harbors. This directly impacts the U.S. economy, national security, and the environment. Appropriate beneficial use or disposal of dredged material plays a vital role in the protection of the Nation's coastal and ocean resources.
In 2001, the National Dredging Team (NDT) sponsored a stakeholder workshop to develop a national action agenda with specific recommendations on issues facing dredging and sediment management over the coming decade. The workshop was attended by 250 representatives from government, industry, environmental interests, contractors, and academia.
The workshop resulted in an "Action Agenda" containing recommendations in four primary subject areas:
- Beneficial use of dredged material
- Sediment management
- Emerging issues
- Strengthening the Regional Dredging Teams
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL DREDGING TEAM?
- The National Dredging Team (NDT) is a Federal, interagency group established in 1995 in response to a 1994 national report on the dredging process in the U.S.
- EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers co-chair the NDT.
- Signatory NDT members are the Maritime Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and National Ocean Service. Other participants include Navy, U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF THE NATIONAL DREDGING TEAM?
- The NDT's goals are to facilitate communication, coordination, and resolution of national dredging issues among participating Federal agencies while serving as a forum to promote implementation of the National Dredging Policy and the NDT Action Agenda recommendations (see sidebar).
- The National Dredging Policy supports a timely, efficient, and predictable regulatory process; coordinated planning that includes all stakeholders on a port or regional scale; involvement of dredged material managers in watershed planning; and dredged material as a resource to be beneficially used for environmentally-sound projects, such as habitat restoration.
WHAT ARE THE REGIONAL DREDGING TEAMS?
- Regional Dredging Teams (RDTs) are established to improve dredged material management by fostering communication and planning, to provide a forum for issue resolution, and to increase public education and community involvement at local and regional levels.
- RDTs have been established in most U.S. regions including Alaska, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Mississippi River, Northeast, Northern California, Pacific Northwest, Southeast and Southern California.
WHAT TYPES OF ACTIVITIES ARE UNDERTAKEN BY THE NDT AND RDTs?
- The NDT developed guidance for local planning groups and dredged material management plans to increase sharing of information, processes, and technology.
- Regular meetings are held for the NDT and RDTs to strengthen communication.
- The NDT and RDTs can periodically reassess and adjust the direction of dredged material management. The current Action Agenda has 22 specific actions to improve dredged material management.
HOW CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION?
- Visit the National Dredging Team website.
- Contact the Oceans and Coastal Protection Division at 202-566-1200.
- For information on dredged material, refer to the Ocean Dumping and Dredged Material Management fact sheet.
Office of Water
Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. (Mail Code 4504T), Washington, D.C.20460