Water & Air, teamed with the coastal engineering firm Taylor Engineering, Inc., began working on an ambitious program in 1986 to inventory existing dredge material management areas (DMMA) and to identify candidate sites for new DMMAs along the 342-mile Intracoastal Waterway. The program was needed to maintain adequate channel depths in the waterway to allow safe navigation. Acquisition and permitting of new sites had become increasingly difficult along the waterway corridor because of the environmentally sensitive nature of coastal resources and rapid urban development along Florida’s coastline. The network of DMMA provides permanent infrastructure to hold dredge material from the waterway in upland containment sites along the 12 Florida counties adjacent to the waterway and to allow beneficial reuse of dredged material.
- Evaluated environmental resources of existing sites within Florida Inland Navigation District’s real estate inventory.
- Assisted with identifying new sites within the waterway corridor and screening for sensitive environmental resources.
- Conducted over 250 ecological site field assessments along the Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
- Prepared a comprehensive ecological assessment of all candidate sites and proposed pipeline access routes from the waterway.
- Assisted with wetland permitting and mitigation of impacts to protected species.
Fifty-three sites or site expansions have been acquired, and numerous facilities have been built along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Once completed, these sites will provide environmentally sound disposal areas for dredged material, ensuring that federally authorized channels along the coast provide safe passage for boat transportation along the inland waterway.