US Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District & Marine Design Center

Delaware River Dredged Material Utilization, DE

Published Nov. 28, 2012


APPROPRIATION / PHASE: General Investigations / Reconnaissance

AUTHORITY: Senate Resolution on Beneficial Use of Dredged Material on the Delaware River, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and PL 113-2

DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was authorized to conduct the Delaware River, PA, NJ and DE Dredged Material Utilization Study (Utilization Study) reconnaissance phase and any ensuing feasibility phase investigations by a resolution of the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the United States Senate on October 26, 2005.  The resolution directs the USACE to conduct an investigation of beneficial uses of dredged material within the Delaware River and Estuary area.

Approximately 3,000,000 cubic yards of sediment are dredged annually from the ‘Delaware River, Philadelphia to the Sea’ and ‘Delaware River, Philadelphia to Trenton’ projects. Essentially all of the sediment is removed from the estuary system and placed in upland Confined Disposal Facilities. This study will explore innovative methods for management and reuse of dredged material in order to improve flood risk management. A Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement (FCSA) was signed with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on 27 February of 2014.

STATUS:  In response to the study resolution above, the USACE Philadelphia District conducted the Delaware River New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania Dredged Material Utilization and Beneficial Use Opportunities expedited reconnaissance study.  The purpose of this study was to examine beneficial use opportunities using maintenance dredged material from the Delaware River and its tributaries for flood reduction, environmental restoration, and related purposes. 

The findings of the expedited reconnaissance study indicated that there is Federal interest in further investigations of multiple-purpose beneficial sediment reuse opportunities through a feasibility study within Delaware.  The purpose of this feasibility study is to fully evaluate all reasonable solutions to the water resources problems and investigate potential opportunities identified during the reconnaissance within Delaware.  Based on the preliminary screening of alternatives in the reconnaissance, there appear to be multiple potential projects within Delaware that would be consistent with Army policies regarding costs, benefits, and environmental impacts. 

PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES: The beneficial use opportunities are best facilitated utilizing maintenance dredged material from Federal and non-Federal navigation projects including: the Delaware River, Philadelphia to the Sea NJ, PA & DE project; the Delaware River, Philadelphia to Trenton, NJ & PA project; and the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening, NJ, PA & DE project; and several active Federal navigation projects at major tributaries of the Delaware River.  This dredged material will be considered for projects that will reduce flood damage from coastal storms,  promote coastal resilience and sustainability and create opportunities for restoration of the estuaries functions. 

NON-FEDERAL SPONSOR:  Delaware Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control


PROJECT MANAGER: Scott Sanderson