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Maintenance Dredging

Maintenance dredging within the tidal Thames encompasses a wide range of topics. Click on the links within the text below to find out more information on each of these subjects.

Maintenance dredging is the periodic removal of shoals or sediments from existing navigational channels, berths, swinging moorings etc in order to maintain an appropriate safe depth of water for navigation, construction or operational purposes. The Port of London Authority is responsible for a number of maintenance dredging operations, and has developed a Maintenance Dredging Framework to guide decisions and ensure sustainability of this practice. As maintenance dredging in the tidal Thames is an issue of importance for a range of organisations, a Dredging Liaison Group was established 2001. A Maintenance Dredging Brochure has also been published which provides more information on these topics.

European and international sites designated for their environmental habitats and species (so-called Natura 2000 sites) are also taken into consideration. The "Draft Conservation Assessment Protocol on Maintenance Dredging and the Habitats Regulations 1994" (hereafter referred to as the 'Draft Protocol') was published in 2003. This Draft Protocol recommends that a 'Baseline Document' is prepared that uses existing and readily available information to describe current and historic patterns of dredging in relation to these European sites. The PLA's 'Baseline Document' was published in June 2007. This Baseline Document will form the basis for any future assessment of dredging impacts, and is therefore an important tool in the management of any future maintenance dredging operations in the tidal Thames. Click on the boxes below to access information on the Draft Protocol. All references held within these pages can be found here.

Context, Scope and ObjectivesExisting Dredging RegimeEnvironmental AspectsManagement of Maintenance Dredging