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Dredging For New Fish Habitats

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As one of the leading providers of dredging equipment rentals in the United States, U.S. Aqua Services distinguished itself from their competitors by having an unyielding commitment to environmentally friendly practices. We’re conscious of the impact our equipment can have on a landscape or natural place. That’s why we’ve developed technology that is easier on the environment. But we’re not the only ones looking for ways to reduce the impact dredging has. Other firms are looking for ways to actually utilize dredging equipment to rehabilitate the environment and create new habitats for fish and other creatures.

Eco-Friendly Dredging

An excellent example of this renewed interest in using dredging for environmental rehabilitation is along the Mississippi River. A major riverway for travelers and merchants since the very earliest of settlements, the Mississippi has been dramatically reshaped, redirected, and narrowed. While this makes it easier to move boats up and down the river, this homogenization of the river has had a major effect on the native fish populations that live there.

Partnering with US Fish & Wildlife, the US Army Corps of Engineers realized that by making the Mississippi more accessible to boats, they were making it difficult for fish to live and spawn. Fish need more than simply water to survive successfully in a river. Indeed, they need variations in water height, speed, and side channels. To recreate these features, the Corps has turned to dredgers to create new environments for fish in the Mississippi.

Making The Most Of Dredged Materials

To keep the waterways of the river navigable, the river is routinely dredged. In the past, these dredged materials have been simply piled to the sides of the river, creating steep river banks. While this is a cost-effective measure, it is not an environmentally friendly one. The Corps is now utilizing new attachments for their dredgers that off-set this process. Instead of piling the materials to the sides of the river, Army Corps engineers are fitting their dredgers with long, flexible tubing. These tubes move the dredged material into positions and places that create small islands, side channels, and variations in the banks.

By constructing these features, native fish populations have the variegated water features they need to spawn, search for food, or live. Now, multiple kinds of fish at different stages of life can thrive in the Mississippi River once again.

Studying The Results

While these programs are underway, their results are not fully realized. To test whether these changes are supporting more fish populations, the Corps has partnered with a US Fish & Wildlife office in Carterville to conduct before and after studies of sections of the river. The two organization hope that this new use of dredgers will result in a proliferation of fish populations that have dwindled in recent years.

In need of a dredging company that is environmentally focused? Then look no further than the dredging equipment rental services of U.S. Aqua Services. With our innovative machinery and safety-conscious team members, we can help you complete your project quickly and easily. Contact our dredging specialists today to arrange for your dredging equipment rental, or to schedule an on-site consultation.