BPC Dredging Workshop Looks at Planning, Permitting, and Funding for 2018 and Beyond

For over 30 years, BPC has worked to ensure that the region’s channels and harbors are dredged to adequate navigation depths and to advocate for an economic and science based approach for a rational dredging policy in the san Francisco Bay-Delta region. While the region and its issues related to the maritime industry have evolved over the years, BPC continues to represent the dredging community at the regional level as well as now expanding its efforts to the state and federal levels. Lead by BPC’s Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Committee, part of our vision is to work collaboratively with key stakeholders and agency partnerships to discuss, evaluate, and advocate the interests of the dredging community.

In working collaboratively, BPC also seeks to educate and encourage dialogue on the region’s dredging-related issues. On November 13, BPC held its annual Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Workshop. This sold-out event provided attendees with the latest information on beneficial reuse opportunities, a status update on  Measure AA, insights on moving through the regulatory process, and more.

Here are some snapshots of what we learned (check out the program and see all of the presentations here):

UPDATE: IN-BAY AND BENEFICIAL REUSE SITES
Attendees received the latest information on disposal sites in San Francisco Bay as well as an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the status of in-Bay disposal moving into 2018 dredging.

Examples:

  • Cullinan Ranch has a remaining capacity of 2 million cubic yards.
  • Montezuma Wetlands has received approximately 7.5 million cubic yards of sediment to-date.
  • In-Bay disposal site SF-9 may close due to concerns with mounding.

PERMITTING CHECKPOINTS: AVOIDING REGULATORY DELAYS ON YOUR NEXT PROJECTS
Senior-level staff from experienced organizations and key regulatory agencies provided their perspective on important things to keep in mind in getting through the regulatory process and obtaining project approval.

For example:

  • Consider pre-consultation on project design and CEQA documentation in obtaining a 1600 Agreement or an Incidental Take Permit.
  • Sovereign lands require a lease from the State Lands Commission (SLC) for maintenance dredging. Granted lands do not require a lease, BUT applicants must notify SLC in advance with certain project details.

BPC Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Workshop, November 13, Port of Oakland

UPDATE: MEASURE AA FUNDING
Amy Hutzel, Deputy Executive Officer with the State Coastal Conservancy, provided a full status update on Measure AA, the highly anticipated funding source for restoration projects around San Francisco Bay.

Some of what Amy told us:

  • Based on the Baylands and Climate Change: Ecosystem Habitat Goals Science Update in 2015, the goal is to restore 100,000 acres of tidal marsh.
  • Measure AA can fund habitat projects with flood management features and public access or recreation amenities.
  • Measure AA can fund the beneficial reuse of dredged sediment.

DREDGE MATERIAL REUSE AND SEA LEVEL RISE – WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?
Millions of tens of millions of cubic yards of material will be needed to keep up with rising sea levels. What are our options in reusing dredge material?

Some of what our expert speakers are looking at:

  • Scientific studies on sediment loads and mass balance in San Francisco Bay.
  • Case studies from other regions, such as Louisiana and its 2017 Coastal Master Plan or Boston and its Climate Ready project.
  • Strategies that include living shorelines, ecotone creation, and barrier beaches, in addition to marsh restoration

BPC is very appreciative of all the speakers that took time out of their schedules to join us at one of our most popular and hallmark events, and for helping to further the effort to work collaboratively in informing dredging policy in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region.

If you are interested in getting involved with BPC’s Dredging & Beneficial Reuse Committee, contact us!

The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman CEO

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