Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Baltimore Harbor Sediments Used to Rebuild Park

 Dredged sediment from Port of Baltimore helping to restore city parkland

Sediment dredged from shipping channels leading to the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore is helping restore the underutilized Ridgley’s Cove park property in Baltimore City into a multi-use recreation area with walking trails. Restoration of Ridgley’s Cove, located behind Horseshoe Casino and adjacent to the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, makes use of sediment from the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration’s (MDOT MPA) Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility. The project is the largest example of innovative reuse of dredged sediment from Baltimore Harbor channels.

“Baltimore is world renowned for its beneficial use of dredge material, and the Ridgley’s Cove reconstruction is further proof of Maryland’s ingenuity,” said MDOT MPA Executive Director William P. Doyle. “Continuous dredging is critical to accommodate the ships that enter the Port of Baltimore to deliver high volumes of cargo and support tens of thousands of jobs. We can use this dredged material to restore, reclaim and rebuild property in surrounding communities.”

MDOT MPA is working on the project with the Maryland Department of the Environment, Maryland Environmental Service, Baltimore City, Baltimore Development Corporation and the company, TopGolf, in a unique partnership of local and state government, a nonprofit and private industry. CBY, a Dundalk-based hauling company, is handling the dredged material transport from Cox Creek to Ridgley’s Cove, with 150 to 180 trucks a day transporting sediment to the site.

150 dirt trucks a day? That' serious traffic. I wouldn't want that on my street.  

Approximately 22,000 cubic yards of blended sediment from the Cox Creek facility will be used as capping material in the upland restoration of Ridgley’s Cove. Historical research of the site indicates environmental impacts stemming from land use activities dating back to the late 1800s. Restoration of the upland and nearshore environment is part of a mitigation package associated with the future TopGolf facility. Plans involve remediation of existing environmental impacts and reestablishing the site as a recreational asset.

So they're not worried enough about the pollutants in the sediment to prevent them from using it in a golf course (Baltimore harbor sediment is notoriously contaminated with heavy metals, including lead, copper, chromium and cadmium, as well as a wide variety of organic pollutants, DDTs, PCBs and more). Does that mean it's safe enough to put on farm fields in small amounts? That would be a good thing, to restore soil that has been lost to erosion. 

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