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A Review of Environmental Implications of Dredging Activities
( Vol-3,Issue-12,December 2017 )


Igwe P.U., Ugovwarhe O.E.P., Ejiofor C.C., Menkiti H.E., Okonkwo C.S.


Dredging, Environmental Implications, Marine Ecosystems, Review Sediment, Sustainable Development.


Dredging is a global anthropogenic excavation activity of removing sediments from water bodies and depositing it elsewhere. It is a mixed blessing as it has both beneficial and adverse impacts. This paper is on a review of environmental implications of dredging. The objective of the paper is to review previous works by researchers on the environmental consequences of dredging. The method used is a review of academic/journal articles, internet materials, conference / workshop papers, textbooks, bulletins and publicly available materials on dredging activities. The results of the study revealed that previous authors whose works were reviewed have a convergent view that apart from the beneficial impacts of dredging (e.g. keeping waterways navigable, flood and storm protection and provision of materials for road construction and building), it has lots of adverse environmental impacts, including environmental pollution, erosion, widespread hydrological changes, reduction in the population of aquatic lives like destruction of fish spawning grounds and benthic organisms and resuspension of particulate matter column that has elevated levels of lead, copper, zinc and nickel in Phytoplankton. Recommendations of the study include: (1) establishment of environmental legislations and regulations for dredging operation; (2) use of green technology in dredging activities to minimize suspension of sediments and contamination/pollution of dredging environments; and (3) creation of awareness among dredging contractors, regulators and marine communities where dredging take place on the economic and ecological values of the marine ecosystems that are usually very sensitive, fragile and productive.

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