Dredge Effect

Baltimore County, MD

Dredge Effects, developed Mahan Rykiel Associates is a public art, engagement, and research platform that curates positive, dynamic, hands-on experiences intended to challenge public perception and explore new avenues for innovative use and beneficial reuse of dredged material. The program is intended to overcome public acceptance limitations, regulatory hurdles, and applied information gaps that currently hamper creative solutions for dredged material management.

Flexible and adaptable, Dredge Effects workshops, events, and installations are tailored to the needs of specific sites and stakeholders. The platform embraces the embedded potential of dredged material – part land, part water, to reconstruct direct connections between marine, terrestrial, and human ecosystems.

The first Dredge Effects workshop, held in Baltimore, MD in 2017 focused on the creation of ‘dredge balls’ – slow release habitat clods for environmental restoration, from Baltimore Harbor dredged material. Students, professionals, and artists from around the country participated in a series of hands-on activities to test the material properties of dredged sediment and to develop recipes for the ‘dredge balls’. After the workshop Mahan Rykiel monitored and recorded the physical properties, germination rates, and seedling mortality rates of the ‘dredge balls’ to evaluate which of the recipes would successful in restoration efforts.