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Title: A framework for assessing the need for seasonal restrictions on dredging and disposal operations
Authors: Mississippi State University. Cooperative Extension Service.
Science Applications International Corporation
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. New England Division.
Dredging Operations Technical Support Program (U.S.)
LaSalle, Mark.
Clarke, Douglas G.
Homziak, Jurij.
Lunz, John D.
Fredette, Thomas J., 1955-
Keywords: Benthos
Suspended sediments
Seasonal restrictions
Environmental effects
Environmental management
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: Seasonal restrictions on dredging and/or disposal operations are based upon concerns about potential dredging- or disposal-induced negative impacts to biological resources. In many cases, however, information on the degree to which either naturally occurring or dredging-induced environmental alterations directly or indirectly affect organisms is poorly quantified, in which case restrictions are based upon a "reason to believe" notion. This report addresses the general acceptability of seasonal restrictions through a compilation of available information on physical-chemical environmental alterations associated with dredging and disposal operations, and critical information regarding the effects of these alterations on principal biological resources. Based on this information, a method for evaluating existing or proposed seasonal restrictions on dredging and/or disposal operations is presented. This framework reflects the present understanding of effects of dredging- or disposal-induced, as well as naturally occurring, environmental alterations upon biological resources. In many cases, the magnitude of dredging- or disposal-induced alterations falls well within the range of naturally occurring phenomena and imposes little or no additional stress upon resource populations. In some cases, however, the magnitude of alterations may exceed that which occurs naturally, whereby concerns about dredging- or disposal-induced alterations are justified and should be considered when planning a project. This framework provides a means for Corps personnel to quantify seasonal restriction considerations relative to a project during its environmental assessment phase and to develop an understanding of any potential problem areas that may need to be considered. The framework may be used to challenge restrictions that are found to be unsupported by available technical information. In addition to placing dredging- or disposal-induced alterations in perspective, this report presents suggested approaches to encourage interagency coordination and cooperation in dealing with unresolved issues. All of the examples discussed are based upon two criteria: (A.) all those involved must recognize the importance of natural environmental unpredictability and variability, particularly in estuarine and marine systems, as related to the tolerances of protected biological resources, and (B.) cooperation among resource agencies, not antagonism, is of paramount importance.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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