DELAWARE, USA – Two Ellicott 460SL dredges are currently being used in a large tidal marsh restoration project at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. This is one of the largest marsh restoration projects ever in the eastern U.S. The project will restore a highly damaged tidal marsh/barrier beach ecosystem covering about 4,000 acres (1618.7 ha) within the former freshwater impoundment system on the refuge. This coastal wetland restoration improves the ability of the refuge marshes to withstand future storms and sea level rise and improves habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.
One of the two Ellicott 460SL dredges in operation
AMEC and their marine subcontractor, Dredge America, have had great success since the restoration work began in June. Each dredge operates 10 hours per day, six days a week. “We are happy with the dredges and appreciate Ellicott’s support not only with this project but with all of Dredge America’s projects across the U.S.”, says Sam Robinson, Project Engineer for Dredge America.
They have already dredged more than 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of tidal channels and plan to dredge 30 total miles (48.3 km) of channel by next summer.
Dredge America’s Jason Collene beside an Ellicott 460SL dredge
The first phase of the project will focus primarily on draining the marsh and improving tidal circulation. They will begin pumping sand onto the shoreline to close the breaches and create a back-barrier marsh platform. Overgrowth of phragmites, an invasive species of perennial grass, has resulted in the reduction of the wetland area. Establishing a constant salt water flow will help eliminate the phragmites. This restoration of habitat and natural tidal water circulation will enable salt marsh vegetation to return and flourish, improving the resilience of refuge wetlands against future storms and sea level rise, and providing valuable habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
You can view the dredges in operation on Ellicott’s YouTube channel. Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge also posts updates on their Facebook page, so check that out as well!
Specifications – 460SL Swinging Dragon Dredge
Discharge Diameter: 10″ (245 mm)
Max. Digging Depth: 20′ (6.1 m)
Total Power: 440 HP (330 kW)
Pump Power: 320 HP (240 kW)
Cutter Power: 40 HP (30 kW)
For more information, please contact Ms. Robin Manning, Sales Administrator.
Ph: (410) 545-0232