Priorities

The Great Lakes Dredging Team (GLDT) is a partnership of federal and state agencies created to assure that the navigation dredging of U.S. harbors and channels throughout the Great Lakes, connecting channels and tributaries is conducted in an adequate, timely and cost effective manner while meeting environmental protection, restoration, and enhancement goals. It serves as a forum for both governmental and non-governmental Great Lakes dredging interests to discuss the region’s dredging needs.

At its 2015 Annual Meeting held on June 3-4 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the GLDT Legislative, Technical and Outreach committees adopted their respective work plans. These work plans will guide the work of the committees, but they also identify overall GLDT priorities.

For 2015-2016, the GLDT priorities are:

  • Sustainable dredged material management: With over three million cubic yards of sediment needed to be dredged every year from Great Lakes harbors and navigation channels to assure safe, reliable maritime commerce and recreational boating, and with many long-term, permanent placement options dwindling, development of a more sustainable approach to dredged material management has become a more urgent priority. Some of the related areas in which the GLDT will be working include promoting beneficial use, evaluating open water placement and environmental window policies, and expanding the life of confined disposal facilities. The Technical Committee will be leading these efforts, with the involvement of the Legislative and Outreach Committees.
  • Legislative monitoring: Through the Legislative Committee, the GLDT will evaluate federal and state policy issues relating to navigation dredging in the Great Lakes basin. One of the pieces of legislation that the GLDT will follow closely is the recently signed Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014. Particular focus will be on holding Congress to benchmark appropriation levels established by WRRDA as it advances to the ultimate objective of full use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended purpose.
  • Use of science to inform policy and management: The GLDT will serve as a forum for GLDT members, stakeholders, and policy makers to discuss the scientific basis for issues and policies affecting sustainable dredged material management. The objective is to improve the understanding among all GLDT members (and our stakeholders and policy makers) of the science behind some of the policies which influence sustainable dredged material management, and to increase and improve cooperation between all concerned parties. One of the outcomes of the 2015 GLDT Annual Meeting was a directive to plan and convene a broad “State of the Science and Policy” symposium, which could be one means towards achieving this goal. The technical committee will work in close collaboration with the legislative and outreach committees to identify opportunities to increase communication between the scientific community and policy makers.

Click here for the GLDT 2015-2016 Priorities (PDF version)

More Information

For detailed priorities of the Great Lakes Dredging Team, see:

For even more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions page.