Evaluation of Erosion Potential of Estuarine Sediments in NY/NJ Harbor Using an Advanced Ex-Situ Erosion Testing Method

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CAIT project no.: 253-RU2311

Fiscal Year: 2009/2010

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Ali Maher, Ph.D.

External Author(s): Scott Douglas, NJDOT

Sponsor(s): New Jersey Department of Transportation


Over 55 million cubic yards of sediment will be removed to create the new channels in the Port of NY/NJ. These new channels must be maintained through periodic dredging to remove accumulated silt.  Managers need to predict the amount of sedimentation that will occur in order to plan for the expense. Understanding and predicting sediment transport has gone from curious scientific trivia to critical economic parameter. The 2008 Regional Sediment Management Plan developed by the Harbor Estuary Program calls for active sediment remediation to improve the ecosystem and to reduce costs of transportation infrastructure maintenance. This action plan will require that those contaminated sediments that are most mobile, or have the greatest potential to be mobilized are identified.  In addition, remedial measures need to be identified that are appropriate for reduction of the risks posed by these sediments. Developing a realistic framework for hydrodynamic (sediment transport) models are critical for addressing some of the pressing current and future issues.