2019 Dredged Material Management Program
Annual Report

Dredging makes it possible for cargo ships to move through the Port of Baltimore. It also provides beautiful habitat for thousands of species of birds and animals, and places of man-made wonder for people to discover nature.

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2019 DMMP Annual report Credit: Greg McKay

Managing Dredged Material
to Maintain the Marine Highway

The Port of Baltimore is one of a few on the east coast of the United States with the necessary depth and infrastructure to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships. Earlier this year, we welcomed the largest container ship to ever visit Maryland, the Evergreen Triton, which carried 14,424 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) worth of goods, merchandise, and materials destined for numerous states across the United States.

Maintaining Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore Harbor shipping channels for massive ships like the Triton is no small task. Every year, along with our partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approximately 4.7 million cubic yards of sediment is dredged to maintain nearly 150 miles of channels and anchorages at their current depths and widths, and to ensure safe and reliable navigation for all vessels calling on the Port. That much sediment (otherwise known as dredged material) would fill M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, twice, every single year.

How we manage and utilize all of that sediment in a way that is good for the Port, good for our communities and good for the environment is what the State of Maryland Dredged Material Management Program (DMMP) is all about. 

Please find the link to 2019 Annual Report below: 

View Report

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2020
Recommendations

The Annual Report provides an overview of Maryland's DMMP 2019 accomplishments, and identifies the following issues and recommendations to focus on in 2020. It is organized by key topic areas that are fundamental to the ongoing success of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration's (MDOT MPA) DMMP.

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Recommendations Credit: Greg McKay

In reviewing the year’s work it is clear that great progress has been made across the program, but that several overarching challenges still need to be addressed as we continue our strategic planning process for 2020 and beyond. These principally relate to capacity planning, clarifying funding and budget priorities, and addressing climate change. 

In addition, close coordination between the MPA and all levels of the US Army Corps of Engineers remains important to ensuring the timely and cost-effective completion of projects, plans, and policies - including resolution of concerns related to our channels located in Virginia waters and securing adequate federal funding for the construction of the Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island project. This coordination is also critical to providing sufficient placement capacity for both maintenance material and upcoming proposed new work projects for Baltimore Harbor sediment.

Further, the acquisition of space to conduct large-scale Innovative Reuse activities and the identification of end-use options for dredged sediment remain challenging. More broadly, the lack of information or inaccurate information about dredging and dredged material management solutions continues to limit even greater support for the DMMP.

Our recommendations for 2020 work to address each of these challenges, while charting a course for the continued success of Maryland's DMMP.

 

Recommendations for 2020

Building off of our accomplishments in 2019, the implementation of the following recommendations - several of which are ongoing activities, and a few of which are new areas of focus - will help ensure a successful DMMP in 2020 and beyond.

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Advocate for funding and policies at the federal level with the Congressional delegation and other partners at the US Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, North Atlantic Division and the District. Focus on Mid-Bay, resolving the Virginia channels issue, and developing a strategy to identify and address various external risks to the program.

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Participate in opportunities with the American Association of Port Authorities to advance supportive legislative language in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020.

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Plan beyond the 20-year horizon to ensure adequate capacity and dredging demand projections include consideration of climate change impacts, as well as opportunities for resiliency and other benefits such as carbon sequestration.

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Continue to advance the 2011 Harbor Team recommendations for implementation of Cox Creek Expansion and Confined Aquatic Disposal.

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Evaluate the 2014 Innovative Reuse Strategy and update where appropriate given the progress currently underway.

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Extend the Port of Baltimore's outreach, education and stakeholder engagement efforts to continue to grow strategic partnerships and support for the dredged material management program.

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Continue the ongoing habitat development efforts in the North Cell of Hart-MIller Island in coordination with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.