Dredging, as a process, is used to remove the deposits percolated underwater for the purpose of clearing the water pathway for ships to pass; to create adequate space to construct important bridges, dykes and dams and to weed out silt, intoxicants and pollutants from the bottom of the water.
Importance of Dredging
Dredging is very important because it helps to moderate the underwater traffic as per the way a dredger wants to moderate it. Additionally, in cases where dredging is specifically used for the purpose of catching shellfish and molluscs, one can find an amazing variety of these creatures with the help of dredging. And, in cases where engineering science needs to be applied, dredging becomes important as without the application of dredging one will not be able to channelize the construction of the requisite edifices properly. Only by making adequate and correct usage of dredging tools and by dredging the right amount of underwater silt and compositions, have a lot of excellent constructions been done so as to be marveled by people across the world.
When it comes to dredging the toxicants and pollutants out of water, no other method is as effective as dredging is. Dredging, by clearing the water space and the polluting toxicants, helps to take care of the marine ecosystem and the ecology thus saving and preserving the lives of not just marine creatures but also marine flora and fauna.
Effects of Dredging
But just like every coin has two sides, even dredging, in spite of all the positive attributes to the process, has negative points. These negative points are also important because they also tend to impact the existence and life of the marine habitat at large.
When dredging is done for construction and engineering purposes, the water is removed and is stored somewhere else till the time the construction gets completed. But when the process of storage is taking place and after the water is deposited back into from where it was dredged before, the composition of the minerals in the water tends to change. This change in the composition tends to affect the life of the marine creatures and flora and fauna which are prevalent in that part of the water. Also, if dredging is done to de-silt the water in areas where agriculture is dependent on the considered water-body, it is quite possible that the change in composition of the minerals might affect the cultivation of crops and lead to the land being fallow due to excessive presence of minerals like nitrates and phosphates.
Also, if dredging is done to clear the toxic and polluting waste materials, the dumping of such waste material takes place in shallow inlets of water which again tends to harm the life of marine creatures like the crabs and other crustaceans. Additionally, if birds are frequent visitors to such shallow inlets, due to the dredged-up and percolated waste material, these birds also stand to become party to the ill-effects of the process of dredging.
Therefore it is important that one pays heed to dumping of the waste materials collected through dredging and takes adequate care to dump it in areas where no important life-form can be harmed. Also, in case where the dredging process stands to cause the mineral composition in the water to change and alter considerably, it becomes important that one takes undue care and precaution to oversee and prevent such an occurrence. By taking minor care like this, one can help to prevent a major catastrophe from occurring. Dredging is a process that needs to be undertaken more often than not in today’s world and till the time, a better, safer and surer method is found, it is practical to make sure that the existing process does not cause any harm to any ecosystem – either knowingly or unknowingly.
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References: Therockerbox, Iadc-dredging