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Largest Annual Great Lakes Dredging Operation Completed in Toledo

Buffalo District
Published Dec. 18, 2023
Updated: Dec. 18, 2023
A yellow crane on a barge with a red clamshell bucket scoops sediment from a waterway.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District contractor Ryba Marine Construction Co. pumps dredged material from a scow in Toledo Harbor into a confined disposal facility, Toledo, Ohio, November 4, 2020. USACE Buffalo District is responsible for maintaining federal navigation channels in harbors and waterways across lakes Erie and Ontario. (U.S. Army Photo by Jess Levenson)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District has completed annual dredging of Toledo Harbor and the Maumee River.

Dredging of Toledo Harbor is the largest dredging operation on the Great Lakes, ensuring accessible depths for large vessels, the continued flow of commodities across the lakes, and the economic viability of United States waterways.

“Maintaining the operation of harbors like Toledo and ensuring the Maumee River remains accessible is a core part of our mission and essential to the economic strength of the nation,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, commander of the Buffalo District. “We’re proud of our partnerships with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, the state of Ohio, and our representatives in Congress that make this critical operation possible.”

“The Port of Toledo is an important component of a diversified local economy, opening up opportunities to move our products around the globe. I am pleased to see the Corps of Engineers complete its annual dredging of Toledo Harbor to help ensure its economic vitality,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09). “Toledo’s Port is a vital multimodal link in the Great Lakes' regional transportation network. It supports thousands of good-paying jobs regionally and strengthens our Nation's partnerships with our international trading partners. I am pleased to help deliver the funding the Corps needs so that communities all across America’s North Coast can keep their seaports operating safely and can meet the demands of the global economy.”

Maintenance dredging began July 29 and was completed Dec. 2.

Work focused on the mouth of the Maumee River where 800,000 cubic yards of material was mechanically dredged by USACE and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co. The material was placed in the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Confined Disposal Facility.

This year’s dredging project cost $5.88 million.

Dredging of Toledo Harbor and the Maumee River is normally conducted by USACE every year, based on availability of funding. Funding is already in place to dredge Toledo Harbor again in September 2024.

Toledo Harbor is a deep draft commercial harbor which handled 12 million tons of cargo in 2021, including iron ore (53%), coal (23%) and soybeans (4%). Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $494 million in business revenue, 2,157 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, and $163.3 million in labor income to the transportation sector.

Operation, maintenance and dredging of harbors like Toledo by USACE is critical to the economy of Ohio, the Great Lakes region, and the United States.

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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.

Avery Schneider
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
Andrew Kornacki
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

Release no. 23-027

Chick Lock

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