Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Dredge Material)

This semester I’ve been interning with the northeast office of the North Carolina Coastal Federation! The nonprofit works to accomplish its five goals of improving coastal resiliency through grant-based projects. I have been working with Michael Flynn, NCCF’s coastal advocate on my project studying beneficial use of dredge material.

Beautiful view from the office.

Every Monday morning, we have a group staff meeting where everyone updates each other on what they have been working on and what they plan to work on in the coming week. There, I get to learn a little more about the work that each of the other staff members are focusing on.

My project was looking at an overview of beneficial use of dredge material to create a paper and presentation. I began by looking at the policies of dredging and disposal of the waste product and from there moved to databasing all the available disposal sites in North Carolina. I then did a literature review and annotated bibliography of all the relevant studies looking at beneficial use. I also spoke with some people involved with pilot projects to learn more about the types of beneficial use projects currently being implemented.

Right before beginning to write the paper, Michael and I spoke to some industry professionals about the possibility of an area on Hatteras Island that could use dredge material beneficially. I was able to include this in my paper in hopes that Dare County can use my information to make a case for the implementation of the project.

I learned a lot about this up-and-coming topic in the environmental world! There is so much that can come out of dredge material and as a coastal state with a lot of dredging activity, dredge material is a wonderful resource.