The Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC (GLDD) has published a series of articles that provide very useful insights and knowledge into various aspects of their sector.

What is land reclamation and its purpose

When growing populations find themselves in need of new land for roads or housing, they’ll turn to land reclamation. In some cases, communities use land reclamation as a means of additional protection against damaging weather patterns. But what is land reclamation? And what is its purpose?

Land reclamation is the process of making lands suitable for new purposes such as port construction, irrigation, and more. This may involve taking land from one area and using it to build new land or draining an area of water to build on top of. Communities, especially on coastal lines, turn to land reclamation to create new land for industry and housing. Additionally, it can also help protect operations from storm surges and flooding. Learn more about land reclamation and what it can do for your local community.

Why Land Reclamation Projects Are Needed Worldwide

As populations grow and expand, the need for more reclaiming land for industrial, housing, and agriculture purposes rises. Land reclamation is the solution to these problems. But land reclamation can also be used to transform bodies of water into usable land. This can help revitalize economies by providing additional usable lands for ports and other transportation means.

Beyond the economic purposes of land reclamation, you can use it to improve and maintain soil fertility for farming. And when natural disasters such as floods or storms hit, use land reclamation to mitigate its effects. This means that you can keep your operation producing at optimal capacity despite climate or weather fluctuations.

How the Land Reclamation Process Works

Now that you understand what it’s used for, let’s go over the process of land reclamation. Depending on the exact project, land reclamation can simply involve filling an area with large, heavy rocks or cement. Then clay and/or soil are used until you’ve reached the desired height. In other instances, people use land reclamation to drain the water from a local body. The land is then used for farming, industry, or some other purpose.

You can achieve land reclamation by way of dry earth moving, hydraulic filling, or poldering. The process of poldering involves pumping water out of a marsh or muddy land and then using dikes to keep the area dry. Use dry earth moving, the process of moving earth from one area to another, to increase the level of the land being created. Lastly, you can use hydraulic fill material from a previously dredged area to raise the level of or build new land.

GLDD’s Past Land Reclamation Projects

Interested in finding out more about what land reclamation projects could do for your local community? Discover what makes Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) the largest provider of dredging and land reclamation services in the United States. Want to see examples of land reclamation projects before deciding? Take a look at the previous land restoration projects GLDD has been a part of. Let us work with your community to reclaim local land and put it to better use.

Mechanical Dredging & Hydraulic Dredging – What is the difference?

Whether you are trying to clear sediment and debris out a harbor, stream or other body, you’ll likely need the help of a dredging machine. Dredging is the process of removing sediment from bodies of water to restore them for better use. So, how does dredging work? The machine will loosen up sand, sediment, and debris. To keep it from resettling, the unwanted sediment will be transported to a location where it can be processed.

When it’s time to clear out your local waterways, you’ll need to decide on whether to use a mechanical or hydraulic dredge. But how would you know which one to use, and what are the advantages of each? Learn more about their differences to help you make the best decision.

Mechanical & Hydraulic Dredging: Factors To Consider

There are a variety of factors to consider before choosing a dredging machine. You should consider costs, the indebted dredging area, equipment, and the labor involved. Below is a helpful breakdown of each and what you should be looking for.

Cost Efficiency

When it comes to cost efficiency, the hydraulic dredge is the clear winner. Hydraulic dredges can complete projects in about half the time as mechanical ones. It also does it with fewer resources. On top of that, hydraulic dredges use less material and have fewer maintenance costs.

Intended Dredging Area

After considering the cost, you’ll want to think about where you intend to accomplish your restoration project. Mechanical dredges are best for spacious environments that allow the excavator to operate freely. You’ll find mechanical dredges near shorelines. Hydraulic dredges are best for large bodies of water, where excavators might have trouble reaching materials. If you have a mining project in need of a dredge, a hydraulic one offers the most efficiency.


Mechanical dredging requires several support equipment pieces. This includes the primary excavator for moving sand, loaders to move sand to the shore, and trucks that deposit the sand to a nearby processing plant. On the other hand, hydraulic dredges directly transfer materials to the processing plant.


Since mechanical dredges require material to be manually transported, you’ll need more workers, which increases costs. With a hydraulic dredge, the debris is automatically transported to the processing plant, so you’ll need fewer workers, saving you money and time.

Choosing the Right Dredge

To fully summarize the above information, hydraulic dredges have several advantages over mechanical ones. From the capital and labor costs to the amount of equipment needed, hydraulic dredges offer more versatility and efficiency. Of courses, you should always consider what your project’s environment is before deciding which type of dredge to use. If your project needs are close to a shoreline, then a mechanical dredge may be just what you need. Choose a hydraulic dredge for projects in large bodies of water and save on costs.

Do you have a body of water that could use some restoration? Contact GLDD today. We’re the largest provider of dredging services in the United States. Our highly experienced civil, ocean, and mechanical engineers are fully trained in estimating, producing, and managing project functions. Our fleet consists of hydraulic dredges, contact us today.

The Many Benefits of Inland Dredging

Lakes, harbors, streams, and other bodies of water provide means of transportation for goods and recreational purposes. Over time, these waterways will accumulate sediment and debris that can make them difficult to navigate and cause environmental hazards. On top of that, local aquatic life may be negatively affected as well. In order to keep these waterways clean and clear, the debris, sediment, and pollutants must be removed. The best way to go about returning local and private waterways is through a process called dredging. Discover more benefits of dredging to see if it’s the right solution for your local waterways.

What Is Dredging & How Does It Work?

Dredging is the process of removing sediment and debris from bodies of water. If left untouched, waterways can become clogged, polluted, and otherwise inhabitable due to sediment build-up. So to keep waterways clear and usable, they’ll likely need to be dredged. The exact process for removing debris and sediment depends on the environment. However, the overall process is about the same for each case.

So how does dredging work? To start, the operator will drop the dredge at the bottom of the waterway. Using its teeth, the dredge will break up and loosen material settling at the bottom. The material is then sucked away through a pump. Once it’s been properly removed, the materials are transported away, where they may be repurposed.

What Are the Benefits of Dredging?

The benefits of dredging range from restoring aquatic environments to expanding waterways. Not only can dredging improve the way bodies of water are used, but it can promote the healthy growth of local plant life. And when the dredging process finishes, the difference is noticeable. You can see for yourself through pictures of our completed projects.

Expanding Waterways

Dredging can help maintain waterways used to transport goods via ship. When too much sediment or debris builds up at the bottom of a waterway, it can be more difficult for ships to pass. With expanded waterways, even bigger ships will be able to transport goods. This can help keep the prices of goods down and make local economies thrive.

Fosters Construction

Before waterway construction can take place, a construction crew will need any obstructions cleared. They’ll turn to dredge to assist in their underwater excavation. Projects that dredging has helped complete include bridges, docks, piers, and underwater tunnels.

Restores Aquatic Environments

As sediment builds up over time in aquatic environments like ponds, lakes, and streams, it can make it difficult for aquatic life to thrive. A dredge can remove that sediment from the sides and bottom of the waterway to create a larger habitat. The sediment, if not contaminated, can then be combined with other materials to be deposited as topsoil, which can help native plant life grow.

GLDD’s Environmentally Safe Dredging Procedures

The dredging process can greatly impact the way bodies of water can be used. You can use it to expand waterways that’ll accommodate larger ships. Or you could use it to help restore an aquatic environment. These are only a few of the many benefits of dredging. Think it’s the solution to your problem? Contact us to help you clear your local waterways. After all, we’re North America’s dredging industry leader.

To give you even more peace of mind, GLDD has been a participant in several eco-friendly projects. Just last year, we helped a local environmental group lift a derelict sailboat from the Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. For similar stories, check them out here.