To maintain the navigational depth, 1.15 million cubic meters (1.5 million cubic yards) of sediment is dredged out from the federal harbors every year from Lake Erie, Ohio Coast. Treating this huge amount of dredged material is a major challenge due to the mobilization of potential contaminants causing depreciation in water quality and depletion of valuable land. Rather than treating the dredged material as a waste, we suggest investigating alternative ways to recycle and reuse the material within Green Infrastructure (GI) and living architecture applications. This study identifies potential applications of the dredged material in bioretention and vegetative roof systems, and examines the role of dredged material in these edaphic conditions. The paper discusses the beneficial uses of dredged material in GI by investigating the quality of dredged material and performances of GI built using dredged material through laboratory and field-testing. Preliminary results of a growth media using dredged material for the vegetative roof have been developed in lab/field studies that possess the performance values comparable to the current commercial product. The growth media containing lightweight aggregate, made from the dredged material, is observed to have high water retention capacity and high unit weight in comparison to a commercial product. The growth media leachate water test demonstrated the water quality to be comparable to the drained water from the commercial product. The growth media overwintered and advanced a rare plant species, Viola pedatifida,
which is similar to conventional media. The beneficial uses of dredged material in the GI will help maintain the economic viability of harbors and ports along the shoreline of Lake Erie in Ohio and GIs, which were built using dredged material that can help address storm water management issues in urban areas due to extensive impervious surfaces.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited