If you’ve spent time on San Francisco Bay you’ve probably seen dredging in action in the form of large barges scooping up mud from the Bay floor. Dredgers perform an essential function: they clear channels for large ships to keep them from getting stuck in the Bay’s shallow waters.
But there’s a problem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which performs about 70% of dredging in the Bay, uses suction dredging technology. This highly destructive method vacuums up sediment – and everything else it encounters – from the Bay floor.