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DREDGING COASTAL PORTS An Assessment of the Issues Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1985
National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of sciences and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. This work is a result of research sponsored by the Water Resources Support Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, under Contract Number DACW72-82-C-0010 between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 85-62587 International Standard Book Number 0-309-03628-3 Printed in the United States of America
Committee on National Dredging Issues DON E. KASFI (Chairman), University of Oklahoma, Norman JOHN B. HERBICH (Vice Chairman), Texas A&M University, College Station I. W. BEAN, C. F. Bean Corporation, New OrIeans, Louisiana W. FRANK BOHLEN, University of Connecticut, Groton ALLEN B. CHILDRESS, Norfolk Southern Corporation, New York, New York RICHARD L. COUNSELMAN, JR., Virginia Pilot Association, Norfolk I. PATRICK DOWD, Coal Logistics, Annapolis, Maryland *JOHN S. HOLLETT, Crowley Maritime Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida KENNETH S. KAMLET, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C. f LARRY R. OLSEN, Crowley Maritime Corporation, San Francisco, California ERNEST L. PERRY, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, California CLIFFORD M. SAYRE, E.~. DuPont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware J. R. SCHUBEL, State University of New York, Stony Brook Federal Liaison Representatives RONALD GRESS, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C. GEORGE KLEB, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ft. Belvoir, Virginia WILLIAM R. MURDEN, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Ft. BeIvoir, Virginia JOHN PISANI, U.S. Maritime Administration, Washington, D.C. Staff AURORA GALLAGHER, Senior Staff Officer, Marine Board Technical Pane! on Ports, Harbors, and Navigational Channels EUGENE FI. HARLOW (Chairman), Soros Associates, New York, New York HARUZO EDA, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New lersey RICHARD OWEN, Association of Maryland Pilots, Baltimore MARVIN PITKIN, M. Pitkin Associates, Washington, D.C. FREDRIC RAICHLEN, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Staff AURORA GALLAGHER, Senior Staff Officer, Marine Board *Resigned December 1983 jAppointed February 1 984 . . . 111
Marine Board BRAMLETTE MCCLELLAND (Chairman), McClelIand Engineers, Inc., Houston, Texas WILLIAM C. WEBSTER (Vice Chairman), University of California, Berkeley ROGER D. ANDERSON, Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries, Tampa, Florida ROBERT D. BALLARD, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachu setts WILLIAM M. BENKERT, Petroferm Marine, Tnc., McLean, Virginia KENNETH A. BLENKARN, Amoco Production Co., Tulsa, Oklahoma DONALD F. BOESCH, Louisiana Universities, Chauvin OH. RAY BRANNON, JR., Exxon Production Research, Houston, Texas DON E. KASH, University of Oklahoma, Norman WILLIAM M. NICHOLSON, U.S. Navy (ret.), Annapolis, Maryland ERNEST L. PERRY, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, California KENNETH S. HAMLET, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C. WILLIAM A. CREELMAN, Creelman Marine Research, St. Louis, Missouri ROBERT G. DEAN, University of Florida, Gainesville CHARLES D. HOLLISTER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massa chusetts PETER JAQUITH, Saint John Shipbuilding, Ltd., New Brunswick, Canada RICHARD I. SEYMOUR, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La lolIa, California WILLIAM H. SILCOX, Chevron Corporation, San Francisco, California RICHARD T. SOPER, Sea-Land Service, Inc., Iselin, New Jersey ROBERT J. TAYLOR, Exxon International, Florham Park, New Jersey Staff RALPH D. COOPER, Executive Director DONALD W. PERKINS, Assistant Executive Director CHARLES A. BOOKMAN, Senior Staff Officer MARTY I. FINERTY, Staff Officer RICHARD W. RUMKE, Senior Staff Officer DORIS C. HOLMES, Administrative Associate JOYCE SOMERVILLE, Senior Secretary LINDA CANNON, Senior Secretary CHARLENE TAYLOR, Secretary ~Member, National Acaclemy of Engineering. 1V
Contents 1. Executive Summary 2. Findings. 1 4 3. Overview of Dredging Issues 13 4. Does the United States Need to Accommodate Large Vessels? 29 5. 6. Options for Handling Large Vessels 40 Funding Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 7. The Institutional Decision Making System S. Assessment of Technical Considerations and Needs to be Met in Dredging U.S. Ports ........................................... 9. Environmental Issues . Appendix A: Summary of Committee Expertise ...................... Appendix B: General Design Criteria for Dredged Navigational Facilities. 77 95 117 141 144 Appendix C: Questionnaire to Pilots' Organizations 149 Appendix D: Request for Information from Ports of Other Maritime Nations Appendix E: Policy and Legislation Pertinent to Dredging. 151 152 Appendix F: Commissioned Papers and Background Materials Prepared for Study of National Dredging Issues 156 Appendix G: Figures and Tables v 157
Preface A subject that has long concerned the Marine Board of the National Research Council (NRC) is the systematic engineering of ports and harbors in the interests of efficiency, economy, navigational safety, and the protection of the marine and coastal environment. In reports addressing various aspects of this subject (National Research Council, 1981; 1983a; 1983b), the Board has noted the increasing importance and complexity of institutional issues. For the study of national dredging issues that is the subject of this report, the institutional issues proved particularly challenging. The study was conducted over a two-year period character- ized by turbulent transition to a new federal policy for dredging a transition that is as yet unresolved and difficult to predict-and severe distress in oceanborne shipping. The turmoil of this period produced a wealth of conflicting opinion and proposals for action; for the committee conducting the study, pressure to consider them all was intense. ORIGINS OF THE STUDY Acting on its charter "to consider questions of the relation of engineering and technology to navigation and the commerce of the sea and waterways," the Marine Board agreed in December 1981 to a request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to appraise the nation's needs for dredging in the coastal ports for the near- and mid-term future. STUDY SCOPE AND METHODS A committee representing a broad spectrum of expertise was appointed to conduct the study under the direction of the Marine Board and to report its findings. Appendix A Dives a brief summary of the members' expertise. The committee was directed to investigate dredging needs in the coastal ports of the United States; that is, whether additional construction or maintenance dredging is needed now or in the next two decades, what impediments or barriers act against dredging, should such additional dredging be needed, and alternatives for responding to the impediments and barriers. The Marine Board asked that the committee consider in its appraisal: prospects for trade in various commodities and the vessels likely to carry that trade; alternatives to dredging; pertinent regulatory and institutional issues; design criteria for navigational chan- nels, maneuvering areas, and emergency anchorages; the environmental effects of dredging and the disposal of dredged materials; and national security and defense. A selected bib- liography covering these and related issues was prepared for the committee by the Study Center of the U.S. Maritime Administration's National Maritime Research Center. Owing to the breadth of the issues, to the fact that all NRC committees are made up of ~or ~Ad_
volunteers, and to the deep divisions of opinion among experts and close observers in several of the areas being investigated, the committee employed a number of methods to meet its task. Principal among these methods were the review of evidence, preparation of background papers, and deliberations by the committee itself. Six meetings of the committee were held, four in conjunction with site visits and briefings in ports. An announcement of the study inviting comments was published in the Federal Register, April 20 and 21, 1983, and the responses were reviewed by the committee. The committee convened a public meeting in September 1983 to hear all interested views. Several of the issues, in the committee's opinion, needed examination in depth.* Accord- ingly, the committee requested appointment of a technical panel through the ARC to examine the technical issues in design of dredged navigational facilities and the present adequacy of these facilities for the vessels and traffic using them. The work of the Technical Pane] on Ports, Harbors, and Navigational Channels followed and amplified the work of an earlier pane} (National Research Council, 1983b) that examined criteria for the depths of dredged naviga- tional channels. The pane} submitted its report to the committee following five meetings that were also coordinated with site visits and briefings. The panel's report was a principal source document for Chapter 6 of this report. The committee also commissioned four papers from experts in various fields addressing (1) the biological effects of dredging and the disposal of dredged material; (2) the physical effects of dredging, control of sedimentation, and implications for sedimentation of new construc- tion dredging, coastal structures, and natural events; (3) alternatives to dredging; and (4) consequences of various cost-sharing arrangements for major dredging projects. Information on national defense needs was requested from the loins Chiefs of Staff. While the committee conducting the study had much to consider and deliberate, the lack of data and analysis in oceanborne shipping must be noted. As the committee remarks in this report, considerable uncertainty attends the most fundamental question about national dredging needs-the question of demand for larger vessels. Some of the uncertainty can be attributed to the freedom and competitiveness of oceanborne shipping, some to the fact that political and economic decisions affecting this industry are often made far from its own sector, and some to the lack of regularly analyzed data (Office of Technology Assessment, 1983; National Research Council, 1984~. In contrast, considerable data have been collected and analyzed on the environmental effects of dredging and the disposal of dredged materials, and recent work has added to our understanding of vessel behavior in the confined waters of ports and harbors. Much remains to be learned in the latter area, however, and greater interdisciplinary communication is needed in all the areas examined by the committee to bring the results of research and development to bear on needed improvements in ports and vessels, and to the protection of the coastal environment. Collaboration is also needed to allow planning for the future. In its own interdisciplinary effort, the committee represented strong opinions, and its deliberations were lively. Considering the great differences in experience and points of view the members brought to their common effort, and the turmoil of the two-year period during which the study was conducted, the committee achieved a remarkable level of agreement. This report represents the consensus of the committee. Background and commissioned papers are listed in Appendix F.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The Marine Board gratefully acknowledges on behalf of the Committee an National Dredging Issues the generous contributions of time and information from the federal liaison representa- tives and their agencies, and the briefings and site visits provided by port authorities, local ship pilots, and other members of the maritime community. The background paper prepared by Betsy Gunn and the papers commissioned from Ray B. Krone, Ben C. Gerwick, Car! H. Oppenheimer, and lames Sweeny and Edward Margolin proved particularly valuable to the committee's deliberations; these contributions are woven into the committee's report. Special thanks are extended to all those who communicated with the study by phone, by~mail, and in person. The work of the National Research Council depends on the volunteer efforts of a wide community, and in the case of this study, the efforts volunteered were impressive. REFERENCES National Research Council, Marine Board (1981), Problems and Opportunities in the Design of Entrances to Ports and Harbors (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press). National Research Council, Marine Board (1983a), Collisions of Ships and Bridges: The Nature of the Accidents, Their Prevention and Mitigation (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press). National Research Council, Marine Board (1983b), Criteria for the Depths of Dredged Navigational Channels (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press). National Research Council, Committee on National Statistics (1984), Statistics for Transportation, Communica- tion, and Finance and Insurance: Data Availability and Needs, Staff paper prepared for the Committee by S. D. FIelfand, V. Natrella, and A. E. Pisarski (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press). Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (1983), An Assessment of Maritime Trade and Technology (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office).