Beneficial use of dredged sediment
Stour Estuary (Suffolk)
A total of around 250,000m3 of dredged sand was deposited over the side of a mass agitation dredger. Post-scheme monitoring of the shore profile, sediments and animal communities has indicated that erosion of the foreshore has been arrested and the wetland is naturally being restored. Within two years a diverse benthic community was reported to have colonised the dredged material, however, due to the coarser nature of the dredged sands these communities are different to those previously inhabiting the intertidal flats with a reduction in typical mud dwelling animals. This change in benthic community is often accompanied in reduced food supplies for feeding birds and foraging fish, but conversely the new material may provide alternative habitats for breeding and roosting birds. Overall the project is considered to have worked well.