Advances in Saltmarsh Restoration

Document Type : ECO TECH 2020


Exo Environmental, The Enterprise Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom


An innovative method applicable to saltmarsh habitat restoration using dredged sediment was tested. Biodegradable wooden sluice boxes were placed in eroded “pits” or pools in the damaged saltmarsh and dredged sediment was pumped to fill these pits up to the level suitable for saltmarsh flora colonisation. The sluice boxes were used to carefully control volumes and dewatering of dredged material to maximise the resultant fill level. Sediment was left to settle during periods of high tide and water was prevented from entering and mixing the deposited sludge. During low tide, the supernatant was drained off, enabling more material to be deposited. This technique helped develop a layer of substrate for pioneer halophytes to colonise, without loss of material through natural entrainment and deposition back into source sites. Increases in colonisation, consolidation, shear strength and bulk density of the newly placed sediment proved the suitability of this technique for habitat restoration.


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