USACE Beneficial Use Program

Program Information



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Discover, learn, and grow beneficial uses of dredged sediment.

The US Army Corps of Engineers routinely creates value from dredged sediments though beneficial uses such as beach nourishment, enhancing wetland habitat, and brownfield reconstruction. Using dredged sediment beneficially is an important component of USACE’s dredged material management strategy, significantly reducing disposal requirements. With interest in beneficial use of dredged sediments at an all-time high, the timing is ripe to increase beneficial use.

What is beneficial use of dredged sediment?

Beneficial uses are defined as “productive and positive uses of dredged material, which cover broad use categories ranging from fish and wildlife habitat development, to human recreation, to industrial/commercial uses” (USACE Beneficial Uses of Dredged Material, Engineer Manual 1110-2-5026).

Over 200 million cubic yards of material is dredged annually from the bottom of federally-constructed and maintained navigation channels to maintain safe passage in navigation channels for vessels. Overall, about 10-15% of dredged material requires special handling, while the remaining 85% is available for beneficial use. Of this available sediment, approximately 30-35% is currently used beneficially to deliver environmental, economic, and social benefits.




January 29, 2024 - Maurice River Channel Dredging and Beneficial Use Placement- Philadelphia District (NAP):

The Philadelphia District, in collaboration with contractor Barnegat Bay Dredging Company, achieved a remarkable feat in the recent dredging project of the Maurice River federal navigation channel. Approximately 75,000 cubic yards of material were successfully dredged and put to beneficial use within the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area in Cumberland County, New Jersey, located along the Delaware Bay. This achievement is significant as it marks the first maintenance of the authorized 7-ft MLLW channel in nearly 25 years, addressing navigation challenges and supporting economic development in an underserved community.

The project not only exceeded expectations by completing ahead of schedule in late December but also had a profound impact on the Heislerville Dike, a crucial structure protecting natural resources and local industries from the forces of nature. Partnering with the NJDEP, the Philadelphia District aimed to enhance adjacent wetlands, providing a resilient buffer against breaches while creating sustainable habitats for threatened and endangered birds.

The adaptive management approach employed by the District and the contractor led to the successful creation of natural infrastructure, fostering wetland enhancement and habitat creation. Ongoing collaborations with ERDC, the State of New Jersey, and the University of Pennsylvania will continue to monitor the placement site and channel infilling over the next year, ensuring the project's long-term success.

This project not only represents a triumph for Beneficial Use Placement of Dredged Material (BUDM) but also signifies a shift towards more sustainable practices, reducing maintenance costs for the Maurice River navigation project while benefitting the environment and local communities.

January 9, 2024 - Corps experiments with sediment feed from shallows 

July 25, 2023Dredging begins of Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers