SHEP’s routine maintenance is anything but …

A clamshell moves dredged material to a scow near Old Fort Jackson, Jan. 29. Photo by Jonathan Broadie.

We’re still charging along with the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which is currently 78 percent complete and expected to finish by next year.

Weeks Marine is currently performing maintenance dredging as part of SHEP near Old Fort Jackson. But before we give you the scoop, here are some dredge-related words we dug up to explain the process:

Clamshell – /’klam SHel/ – a barge-mounted crane with a mechanical digging device with hinged parts that opens / shuts and has parts resembling a clamshell.  
– /grizlē/ – a heavy, steel screen used to separate large pieces of debris from finer dredged material.
Scow – /skou/ – a flat-bottomed barge that holds water and material and is used to transport material to an unloader. Note: Some scows have bottom dump capabilities which are used to place material in designated offshore and inshore (in-water) disposal areas just like a hopper dredge does. 
Unloader – /un lōd er/ – a floating barge with a large pump, nozzle and that transfers dredge spoils from the scow to the disposal area.
DMCA (acronym for Dredge Material Containment Area) – a handful of designated dredge disposal areas comprising several hundred acres along the north side of the Savannah River.

An overview of the dredging process near Old Fort Jackson, which sits on the river near the bottom of the photo.

The contractor uses a clamshell to remove the silted material and debris from the channel, which it dumps onto a grizzly on the scow. The screen prevents larger debris from entering the scow, which is like a waterborne dump truck.

Once the scow is full, workers transport it to the hydraulic unloader, stationed out of the channel. The hydraulic unloader puts a nozzle into the scow and pumps the material out of the scow and into the dredge material containment area on the north side of the Savannah River.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

About U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District oversees a multimillion dollar military construction program at 11 Army and Air Force installations in Georgia and North Carolina. We also manage water resources across the Coastal Georgia region, including maintenance dredging of the Savannah and Brunswick harbors; operation of three hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along the upper Savannah River; and administration of an extensive stream and wetland permitting and mitigation program within the state of Georgia. Follow us on Twitter @SavannahCorps and on
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