Toledo Harbor receives more sediment than any other Great Lakes Harbor. Average annual dredging in Toledo Harbor in recent years has amounted to 635,000 cubic yards per year. Yet this amount of dredging is not enough to maintain the shipping channel at its designated depth. Economic activity from shipping that moves through Toledo Harbor is threatened by the shoaling in the navigational channels due to the backlog of dredging that grows every year.
Toledo Harbor and its dredging issues are unique in the Great Lakes and require unique solutions. Toledo Harbor dredging is the largest annual dredging project of any Great Lakes port, both in terms of cost and quantity dredged. In fact, Toledo Harbor dredging alone constitutes 25% of the total dredging in the Great Lakes.
Ohio EPA has expressed the need to limit open lake disposal of sediments that are dredged from the navigation channels. A Toledo Harbor Dredging Task Force, consisting of representatives of Ohio Lake Erie Commission, Ohio EPA, Ohio DNR, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, and other representatives, spearheaded an effort to identify options and opportunities for dredge material disposal and beneficial use.
In 2010, the Ohio Lake Erie Commission received a $250,000 grant from the USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to complete a sediment management plan for Toledo Harbor, which addresses short and long term strategies for addressing dredged material in Toledo Harbor shipping channels. Learn more about this project HERE.
Final Toledo Harbor Sediment Management and Use Plan (41MB PDF)
Click the map for a high quality pdf version (courtesy of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority). For more maps, please click the Toledo Harbor Maps link.
Supporting information about the economic value of Toledo Harbor:
Environmental and Social Impacts of Marine Transport Study
Press release for the Environmental and Social Impacts Study
The Economic Impacts of the Port of Toledo (pdf)