Delaware River Dredged Material Utilization, DE

USACE Philadelphia District
Published Feb. 22, 2023


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 & STATUS: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was authorized to conduct the Delaware River, PA, NJ and DE Dredged Material Utilization Study (DMU) 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 directed 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 explored 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 February 27, 2014. 

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. In March 2020, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, USACE Commanding General and the 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, signed a Chief's Report and the project was subsequently authorized by Congress in WRDA 2020. The next step is to move forward through pre-construction engineering, design, and eventual construction. The final report had favorable recommendations for the following sites: 

  • Pickering Beach
  • Kitts Hummock 
  • Bowers Beach
  • South Bowers Beach  
  • Slaughter Beach
  • Prime Hook Beach
  • Lewes Beach

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



PROJECT MANAGER: Scott Sanderson