Our Experience

Dredge Design & Permitting Services

GEL’s comprehensive environmental services and stakeholder outreach were instrumental in restoring the critical waterways and marinas of Sea Pines Plantation to a navigable condition.

The Client

South Island Dredging Association (SIDA), Sea Pines Plantation

The Challenge

The critical waterways and marinas of Sea Pines Plantation had become essentially non-navigable due to sedimentation, and the PGA’s RBC Heritage Golf Tournament was being adversely affected.  Without dredging, the marinas would close.  The previous dredge effort in 2005 had been unsuccessful (GEL was not involved).  Dredging these waterfront venues (including Harbour Town Marina, South Beach Marina, Gull Point Marina, various community and private docks, Braddock Creek and Baynard Creek) is essential to maintain adequate depths for transit, moorage, and docking facilities.  However no dedicated, upland Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) for sediment disposal is available in the area.

GEL Engineering Services Provided

GEL was retained by SIDA, an association of the various facility owners, to develop a feasible dredging strategy.  GEL formed a Project Team and with the owner led many aspects of the project, including:

  • Technical approach
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permitting
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) permitting
  • Agency negotiation
  • Contract and dredge specifications preparation
  • Bid review and contractor selection
  • Contractor oversite
  • Complex pre- and post-dredge environmental monitoring. 

Dredging was a highly complex undertaking with challenges related to technical methods, permitting, implementation in a challenging marine environment, sediment disposal, and agency/public acceptance.  GEL assisted the owner with robust stakeholder outreach to ensure that members of the public and environmental groups were aware of the process.

The Result

Permits issued by the USACE and SCDHEC were the first ever in South Carolina to allow inshore open water sediment disposal, and this saved ~$9,000,000.  Governor Haley and SCDHEC Director Templeton held a press conference at Harbour Town Marina to recognize its economic importance and to celebrate the issuance of the dredge permits.  Dredging was conducted in the winter 2013-14 and completed ahead of schedule and in time for the PGA Golf Tournament.  Pre, during and post-dredge monitoring have documented no adverse effects from the open water placement, thereby providing data to allow use of this technique in the future for Sea Pines.