The objective of the project is to preserve the quality of coastal zones through integrated management of sediments from dredging activities in small harbours. The following quantified objectives will be attained during the project: A network system will be applied to the 9 small harbours of the Emilia Romagna region (Cattolica, Porto Verde, Riccione, Rimini, Bellaria, Cesenatico, Cervia, Porto Garibaldi, Goro) to improve planning and management of sediment dredging and utilization.

The dredging interventions to be applied are also estimated to have positive effects on the shipping and discharge conditions at the harbours, with about 10.000 merchant ships, pleasure krafts and fishing boats potentially involved. The approach developed in the proposed project could represent the basis for sediment management in a number of sites throughout Europe.


Actions and means involved

The main actions to be undertaken for completion of the project can be summarized as follows:

1.Collection of basic information: detailed analyses will be conducted concerning case-studies related to dredged sediments management in order to identify possibilities and limits for application in the site under concern

2.Dredged sediments characterization: on the basis of the results from the previous phase, a thorough chemical, physical and toxicological characterization campaign of the sediments in the area of interest will be conducted according to the ISPRA sampling and analysis protocol.

3.Pilot-scale plant: a pilot plant for size separation of sediment will be installed at a harbour location among those currently accessible to ARPA.

4.Definition of an integrated sediments management system: the results from actions 1, 2 and 3 will be used to integrate sediments-related activities, including dredging, separation/treatment, beneficial reuse as well as final disposal, and to co-ordinate such activities within a network of 9 small harbours by developing an integrated connection system.

5.Identification of environmentally friendly applications of dredged sediments: the feasibility for environmentally safe beach nourishment and reconstruction of morphological profile applications will be assessed for the area of interest.

6.Project management and monitoring.

7.Dissemination: a project web-page will be created containing updated information on the progress of the project; the website will also host an on-line forum open to individuals and authorities involved in the thematic area of dredged sediments. Within the project, special attention will be paid to dissemination of the results, promoting participation of the various stakeholders (harbour authorities, public institutions, potential end-users, industrial beneficiaries, local communities) involved at different levels.

The project will be developed at two different technical scales:

  • the separation and treatment procedures will be conducted at a pilot scale via preliminary tests performed at smaller scale,
  • while the creation and implementation of the network-based sediment management system will be carried out at a full scale.

The project will involve participation and awareness of all the subjects involved in the network system.


The principal stakeholders of the project

The principal stakeholders of the project are:

  • Public bodies: Regional Authorities, Provinces, Harbour Authorities, which will be provided with a tool for a proper integrated planning and management of sediment dredging and re-use in small harbours.
  • Private companies/Organizations: naval and boat dockyard operators, port operators, dredging companies, which might take advantage from the guidelines and procedures for appropriate management of dredged sediments.
  • Citizens and local communities using both the small harbour facilities (for aquatic sport and recreational purposes) and the coastal areas where beach nourishment could be necessari.