Mitigation Project for Port Redevelopment

Project Overview of the Mitigation Program

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control asked Aquabio to design a comprehensive mitigation program including artificial reefs.

The mitigation program was needed to compensate for the loss and degradation of critical shallow water habitat due to a proposed coastal landfill at the Port of Wilmington resulting from re-development and expansion of the port. 

Artificial reefs were used in Aquabio's design and site selection plan for Delaware Bay and adjoining coastal waters as compensation for shallow water habitat loss and degradation due to Port of Wilmington landfill.

Aquabio's Role

  • Interagency (Federal and State regulatory and resource agencies) mitigation program planning related to the shallow water habitat loss due to the port re-development and expansion
  • Artificial reef design and siting plan as part of the mitigation program in Delaware Bay and adjoining coastal waters
  • Integration of artificial reefs as key component in a comprehensive mitigation program for the Port of Wilmington port development
  • Development of cost estimates for U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for artificial reef acquistion and installation
  • Identification and evaluation of potential construction contractors for the artificial reefs
  • Development of artificial reef designs for the mitigation program

Results of the Mitigation Program

  • Resulted in first use of prefabricated artificial reefs for mitigation in the U.S.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) assessed the effectiveness of this technology and concluded that mitigation objectives were successfully met
  • Aquabio has developed similar mitigation plans using artificial reefs for the Ports of Baltimore and New York, as well as conceptual plans for Boston Harbor


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