Protecting Shorelines from Erosion
Coastal bed inundation resulting from human-induced climate changes has caused significant damage to coastal regions globally. Coastal erosion has emerged as a pressing concern affecting most of the world’s coastal areas, profoundly influencing our shorelines. This article explores the increasing use of dredging as a solution to address this issue.
A strategic approach is necessary to mitigate coastal erosion, and dredging is vital in combating this serious issue. Dredging involves the extraction of sediments from the coastal areas or river beds to develop sustainable water routes. Dredging is essential in beach nourishment projects.
The Coastal Dredging Strategy is a plan developed by the Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO) to provide certainty to councils and industries on priority areas, funding, and assistance in planning, design, and development of local dredging strategies that lead to on-ground dredging works. 1.
Dredging is a technique used to remove sediment from the bottom of water bodies such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. The extracted sediment is then transported to another location or used for beneficial purposes such as beach nourishment or habitat restoration 2. However, dredging can have negative environmental impacts such as disturbing benthic habitats and sediments which can negatively impact water quality and create sediment plumes that can smother wildlife 3.
The effectiveness of dredging depends on the specific goals of the dredging project. Dredging can be beneficial in removing sediment, trash, debris, and toxic materials from waterways, preparing waterways for various projects such as land reclamation, environmental remediation, or construction, restoring environments that have been affected by soil erosion or contamination, and preventing flooding by deepening and straightening the river channel, allowing more water to pass through quickly 1.
However, dredging can also have negative environmental impacts such as disturbing benthic habitats and sediments which can negatively impact water quality and create sediment plumes that can smother wildlife 23. The effectiveness of dredging in reducing risk can be verified only through monitoring 4.
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
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