USA – Offshore Dredging Studies

Although several years old, the following study, Synthesis and Analysis of Existing Information Regarding Environmental Effects of Marine Mining produces some good information.

It in part tells of the 2000 studies off Pea Island, North Carolina, USA, and how the North Carolina Geological Survey and University of Arkansas researchers found that shoalsshoal A sandbank or sandbar that makes the water shallow even three miles offshore caused wave fronts to refract. This then “focused” the wave energy causing erosion “hot spots” on shore. Models developed accurately predicted the location of these. Such conclusively explodes the continuing UK claim that dredging so far from the shoreline cannot produce coastal erosion.

Studies from the USA Minerals Management Service (MMS) offer some information, but be aware that the MMS is involved in the extraction of minerals, and not in environmental protection. Barry Drucker, one of its project managers, is basically a dredging advocate.

The MMS are working with/colluding with the UK’s International Regulators Forum (Canada and Australia) on the effects of sediment plumes from sand and gravel dredging in the English Channel. But the studies almost always minimise dredging’s negative effects even when the original abstract strongly indicates the opposite. The website to see is

Also from the United States Minerals Management Service providing a programme for the assessment for the cumulative effects of offshore dredging, although sadly it avoids any realistic practical evidence for such. It is unfortunate that this has never been put into practice in UK Environmental Impact Assessments.

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