BUFFALO, N.Y. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District awarded a $737,000 contract to Toledo, Ohio-based Geo. Gradel Company on March 2 to conduct dredging of the federal navigation channel in Ashtabula Harbor.
Material dredged from the harbor will be placed in USACE’s beneficial use project in Ashtabula’s outer harbor, leading to the creation of seven acres of new wetland habitat for plant and animal life in Lake Erie.
“This is great news for Ashtabula Harbor and northeast Ohio,” said Rep. David Joyce (OH-14). “I look forward to seeing this project create a natural habitat for countless species of fish and other wildlife that call Lake Erie home and support the Harbor’s continued ability to contribute to the economic vitality of the Ashtabula community. I applaud the USACE Buffalo District, Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Department of Natural Resource for their work on this project. I remain committed to fighting for federal funding that furthers northeast Ohio’s environmental sustainability and grows our regional economy.”
“Putting dredged material into a new wetland ecosystem is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, commander of the Buffalo District. “While the Army Corps’ dredging maintains the viability of commercial ports like Ashtabula, it will also expand the diversity of aquatic species, and provide new recreational opportunities for local residents.”
Dredging of the harbor is scheduled to take place from mid-June through mid-August.
A total of approximately 80,000 cubic yards of material is contracted to be mechanically dredged from the bed of the harbor and placed by scow in the new wetland site. Additional material will be placed in the site during future dredging cycles.
The beneficial use project is being conducted in close coordination with the Ashtabula City Port Authority, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources under USACE’s Continuing Authorities Program, Section 204.
Dredging of Ashtabula Harbor is conducted by USACE every two years, based on availability of funding. Dredging ensures federally authorized depths are maintained, and the harbor remains accessible to large vessels.
Ashtabula Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor. In 2019, it handled 5.1 million tons of cargo, primarily iron ore (60%) and limestone (26%). Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $182.1 million in business revenue, 806 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, and $60.2 million in labor income to the transportation sector.
Operation, maintenance and dredging of harbors like Ashtabula by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is critical to the economy of Ohio, the Great Lakes region, and the United States.
More photos and video available at: https://flickr.com/photos/buffalousace/albums/72157719335769040
The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.