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Dredging & Dredged Material Disposal

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General Recommendations:

In general, discharge of dredged material is not allowed on state-owned submerged lands. Discharge of dredged material in sensitive areas has the potential to directly bury aquatic habitats and animals, adversely impact water quality, reduce oxygen availability for aquatic species and reduce light for submerged aquatic vegetation. Sediment control techniques such as silt curtains or other barriers that minimize turbidity and migration of dredged materials into sensitive areas are encouraged and may be required. Prop-washing is not an acceptable dredging method or means of entering or traveling in tracts.

Dredged material, however, is a resource that should be used to create or restore habitat in a process called “beneficial use of dredged material”. Beneficial use of dredged material includes, but is not limited to, beach and aquatic habitat creation or restoration. If dredged material cannot be used beneficially, it should be placed in existing placement areas or upland sites where levees will contain the material. 

All activities should be coordinated with the commenting agencies and should use Best Management Practices to avoid unnecessary impacts to sensitive areas. The following mitigation sequence may be applied during the evaluation of potential adverse impacts of a project: (1) avoidance of adverse impacts; (2) minimization of adverse impacts; and (3) compensation for unavoidable adverse impacts.

For information on Best Management Practices and guidelines to reduce the overall impact to the environments and facilitate permitting, please visit:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District construction guidelines:

Definitions and Explanations

  • DA – Dredging may not be allowed on this tract.
    Dredging may not be authorized on this tract due to the occurrence of sensitive areas, sediment contamination or existing infrastructure. If impacts to sensitive areas occur, mitigation may be required.

  • DB - Dredging may not be approved in water less than 6 feet deep as measured from mean low water.
    Dredging may not be approved to protect shallow water sensitive areas. This tract has shallow areas and the creation of excessively deep pockets of water could alter current patterns, cause stagnation pools and create traps for fish when tide levels drop.

Links to Additional Resources


George Martin
George Martin