Sustainable sediments for coastal resilience – can dredging be part of the solution?

Charlie Bicknell1



There is a growing popularity to use sand alone as the method of protecting the coast, often seen more favourable to structures and perceived as a more natural solution. However, the sand has to come from somewhere and finding a sustainable source comes with many challenges.

We will accept little comprise on the quality of the sand and selecting a sand source must include consideration of colour, grain size, grain shape, composition, percentage of fines, organic content, contaminants and more. Our high standard further reduces the number of options.

Inland source require trucking, with their own set of social impacts. At the same time there is a continued drive for dredging projects to beneficially reuse sediments from both capital and maintenance dredging.

Could dredging be the solution to our coastal problems or just open up new environmental pressures. We take a practical look at the pros/cons of dredging marine sediments, physical/technical challenges, and social/environmental trade-off, with the aim of kick-starting the conversation on sustainable sediments and genuine working with nature solutions.


Dredging project manager passionate about “working with nature” solutions