Dredge Material Plant Germination Study

Baltimore County, MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates, Inc. is developing a plant palette for habitat restoration and phytoremediation of dredged material landscapes. The company’s ongoing research targets low-cost options for innovative reuse and beneficial use that works with the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of dredged material.

Using amended and unamended dredged material from Hart-Miller Island as a substrate, the team is analyzing sediment characteristics, species germination rates, shoot-to-root ratios, and plant vigor in the germination study. In developing its unique plant palette, the team reviewed the most up-to-date literature from around the world, studies developed by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), and field work at both Hart-Miller Island and Poplar Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

The results of Mahan Rykiel’s study will be used to support innovative reuse and beneficial use of dredged material at confined disposal facilities, as well as in topsoil blends on more conventional landscape projects that may include public parks, living shorelines, roof gardens, and more.