In harbors, waterfronts and shorelines around the world, sediments that have been contaminated by even small amounts of oil, chemicals, or other polluting substances could pose a health risk to both nature's fragile estuarine ecosystems, as well as to the rest of us. Sometimes this contamination is not even evident without testing. Traditionally, the solution has been to dredge (and place contaminated sediment in upland disposal areas where it must be further managed to prevent exposure to yet other ecological species), and presumably bring the quayside back to its pristine character. For many years, the Navy has looked at the best way to manage this contamination without disrupting an ecosystem that is fragile, but still functional.
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