A Process for Setting, Managing, and Monitoring Environmental Windows for Dredging Projects: Special Report 262
View larger
  • Status: Final Book



TRB Special Report 262: A Process for Setting, Managing, and Monitoring Environmental Windows for Dredging Projects concludes that scientific information about risks to resources and technical options for reducing those risks was not being systematically incorporated into the dredging process. The process itself is complex and time-consuming because of the numerous federal and state agencies and interest groups involved. The committee recommended use of a broad-based decisionmaking process designed to engage stakeholders more effectively and to improve the scientific and technical basis for the decisions made.

Environmental windows are periods in which regulators have determined that the adverse impacts associated with dredging of waterways and disposal of the dredged materials can be reduced below critical thresholds, and dredging is therefore permitted. Conversely, seasonal restrictions are applied dredging and disposal activities are prohibited when the perceived increase in potential harm to aquatic resources is above critical thresholds. Since passage of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, resource agencies have requested environmental restrictions on dredging with increasing frequency. Today, more than 80 percent of federal contract dredging is subject to some type of restriction. At the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TRB and the National Academies Ocean Studies Board convened a committee to address concerns about the decision-making process for setting environmental windows.

Windows are intuitively simple means of reducing risk to biological resources from stressors generated during dredging and disposal activities, including entrainment of fish eggs and larvae, resuspension of contaminated sediments, habitat loss, and collisions with marine animals. The use of windows as a management tool, however, can have significant cost implications for both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local sponsors of dredging projects, delay project deadlines, and increase risk to dredging personnel by shifting projects to periods of potentially inclement weather and sea states.Special Report 262 Summary


Publication Info

96 pages | 6 x 9
Related Resources
Research Tools

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. A Process for Setting, Managing, and Monitoring Environmental Windows for Dredging Projects: Special Report 262. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2002.

Import this citation to:

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:

Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
Tel: 978/777-9929
E-mail: customercare@copyright.com
Web: http://www.rightslink.com

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.

To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, please click here to view more information.

Related Books more

More by the Transportation Research Board more