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Florida Dredging Update: The Cleaning of Eau Gallie

The Eau Gallie River is the latest of numerous Florida dredging projects. Water along the Eau Gallie holds a closer resemblance to black sludge than what one usually thinks of when imagining a river. Decades of sod, farming, and construction run-off has led to an excess of sludge dubbed “black mayonnaise” which has had destructive effects to sea grass and the local wildlife.

Eau Gallie Muck Dredging Schedule

Source: St. Johns River

The project to de-muck the Eau Gallie River is already years in the making, with careful studies and planning leading up to the implementation.  The dredging process started last month, and is scheduled to undergo eight stages, with each dredging site working for two to three months before moving on to the next area. The dredged muck will be temporarily placed on Brevard County property for dewatering, and then transported via dumptruck directly to the nearby landfill. By the end, at least 632,000 cubic yards of muck, enough to fill more than 40,000 dump trucks, will be removed from the river. In the process, almost 1,500 combined tons of nitrogen and phosphorus will be removed, which decreases the chances of habitat-killing algal blooms.

Project designers were careful to take steps so that local wildlife is not harmed during the process.  As such, manatee observers will also be on site for the duration of the dredging project. These steps are taken to avoid any danger to the animals by alerting workers to stop dredging when a manatee comes within 50 feet.

Overseeing the dredging project is the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), Brevard County, and the city of Melbourne, which together raised the $24 million in funds.

Eau Gallie River Muck Dredging St Johns

Source: St. Johns River

  1. http://www.melbourneflorida.org/home/showdocument?id=1724
  2. http://www.melbourneflorida.org/departments/engineering/eau-gallie-river-restoration-project
  3. http://www.sjrwmd.com/EGRET/
  4. http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/environment/2017/02/01/eau-gallie-river-dreding-gets-underway/97332616/

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