Blackwater Refuge

Selected as the most qualified contractor, Dredge America performed the marsh restoration work for the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. This project is located in Cambridge, MD and capitalizes on the experience and expertise gained from the Prime Hook Restoration Project.

Our aim for this project was to restore the natural salt marsh using a thin layer deposition method of dredging. By spraying dredge material over the existing marsh surface we raised the existing marsh platform which provided plant resiliency to combat sea level rise. The overall scope of the project was to remove and place approximately 25,000 cubic yards of dredge material in order to restore up to 30 acres of fragile marsh habitat.

The project was completed on time and under budget. The non-profit owner, The Conservation Fund, in partnership with USFWS are extremely satisfied with the results.

“The Dredge America team has been a terrific partner on this high-profile project.”

– Erik Meyers, VP, The Conservation Fund

Prime Hook

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, tearing through towns, beaches, and everything else in its path. Also affected by the storm was the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. In an already decaying state, Sandy reduced the marshes elevation resulting in a saltwater increase, killing freshwater vegetation and valuable natural habitat.

In 2015, Dredge America was awarded the contract and started it’s effort to dredge over 30 miles of canals to restore the marsh. Being the largest Sandy relief project performed to date, we teamed up with AMEC Foster Wheeler, an engineering and project management company.

The ultimate goal was to restore and dredge the channels to distribute tidal waters complete with a low-rise dune. 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.

Thousands of species depend on Prime Hook for the necessities of life: food, water, shelter and space. As a result of the project completion, the marsh has already started transforming back into its natural state. Fish such as white perch and bluefish have found new habitat in deep-water channels and saltwater is no longer flooding the farm fields adjacent to the refuge.

Following completion, the project received high praises from all associated parties. Thanks to the Dredge America crews, the project has been deemed “one of the most successful restoration projects in United States history” by former DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara.

“The marsh restoration project is one of the largest and most complex ever undertaken on the East Coast and is a model for other coastal resilience efforts around the country.”

– U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell


Work at Waurika Lake, in Waurika, OK, started early fall of 2015. The Waurika Lake Master  Conservancy District (WLMCD) sought to increase storage capacity for six southwest Oklahoma municipalities due to severe drought conditions causing the lake to be 20 feet below the top of the conservation pool. Dredge America came in to deepen the lake for capacity purposes, and clear sediment around the intake structures for continued use.

The project was finished in early 2016. The local news in Oklahoma reported; “A project aimed at saving a lake that provides water to six area cities, including Lawton, is nearing completion, ahead of schedule and under budget.” -KSWO. In regards to the project, Dave Taylor, Waurika Lake Manager, also stated it was “the most cost efficient investment” to being prepared for droughts in Southwest Oklahoma.

This was the first dredging project of its kind ever performed in Oklahoma. Other lakes and water utilities have taken notice of this cost effective solution to restore their lakes and ensure that water capacity is maintained for future water demand.

“A project aimed at saving a lake that provides water to six area cities, including Lawton, is nearing completion, ahead of schedule and under budget.”

– Waurika Lake, OK (KSWO)

Lake Lavon

Lake Lavon, North Texas Municipal Water District

Lake Lavon started in late January of 2015. Located right outside of Dallas, Lake Lavon is an Army Corp lake with intake structures that act as the water source for surrounding communities. As most of us know, in Texas, there can be times of extreme droughts where there are water restrictions put in place to protect the community water supply. Activities such as not watering your lawns were common for the suburbs of Dallas last year. Dredge America came in to increase the capacity of a main water source and provide relief for the residents nearby. Once we were awarded the project and our crews were on site ready to start, wouldn’t you know the rain started… and didn’t stop for the duration of the project.

Lake Lavon was a turnkey project, meaning our crews built the basin and completed the dredging work. With the unique challenges the rain brought, our crew was able to overcome anything that was thrown their way. The project was completed and demobilized in October with a satisfied client, and peace of mind for the community.

Cedar Lake

Dredge America completed dredging operations at Cedar Lake in Winterset, Iowa, where over 1,000,000 CY of sediment was removed.  The purpose of this project was to rehabilitate the community’s drinking water supply and revitalize one of their local recreational venues.

An 18” custom built cutter suction dredge and 80’ idler barge was used to remove the impeding sediment from Cedar Lake. Production for this project/dredge ranged from 3,000 to 8,000 cubic yards per shift, depending on the material type and pumping distance. In order to remove the sediment from the lake the dredge had to pump the material up a 120’ vertical elevation change to a 50 acre settling basin over 8,000’ away. Crews worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to complete this project on time and ahead of schedule.

In order to move a dredge and pipeline this size large support equipment had to be in place. For this project we utilized several twin engine boom boats, a single screw tugboat, and a CAT 320 long reach excavator on 2 60’ sectional barges.

Dredge America not only completed the work for this project but was also involved in the preliminary engineering phases. Our team provided professional consulting services to the engineering firm in order to help determine the most effective project approach. The coordination before being released and during the contracting operations led to a very successful project that now provides a local Iowa city with over 200,000,000 gallons of additional water storage capacity and a lake that the community can be proud of.

Mission Lake

The Mission Lake Dredging Project was a design-build job that was intended to increase the capacity of the City of Horton’s backup water supply. This was done by dredging approximately 1.1 million cubic yards of silt from Mission Lake and pumping the sediment to a disposal facility 10,000’ away. The dredge that was utilized for this project was a custom built 16” cutter suction dredge, with an 80’ idler barge and carriage spud. This setup allowed us to excavate large quantities of sediment, with reduced down time. The average daily production for the project was over 6,000 CY a day, running two shifts. In order to operate this large vessel Dredge America utilized a 500 HP twin screw portable tugboat to move the vessel around the lake and set the 1,000 lb swing anchors.

One of the major reasons for this project’s success was Dredge America’s intimate role in the design phase of the project. Most engineers are not familiar with the basic layout of a dredging project and how to acquire land, what pumping distances are feasible, how much material can practically be removed in a given time frame, and what type of dewatering facility is required to meet regulations. Applying our vast knowledge of the dredging industry and partnering with an experienced engineering firm and dirt contractor, we were able to successfully complete the project on time, ahead of schedule, and beyond the client’s expectations.

Ranger Lake

Ranger Lake in Arlington Texas was in need of major restoration so Dredge America mobilized their hydraulic dredge and constructed a temporary 1.5 mile pipeline to pump 110,000 cubic yards of sediment to settling basins constructed upstream. What was once a clear lake with twenty feet of depth had turned into islands with dense vegetation and a couple of small channels running through the center.

The Ranger Lake restoration is a great example of the owner, the engineer and the contractor all working together as partners to accomplish a clear objective. There were a few challenges along the way, but each time the crew encountered a problem, they worked as a team and created a solution in short order to keep the project on schedule and under budget.

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