Port Operations: Dredging


The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) manages its Dredged Material Management Program to ensure safe navigation, adequate solutions for the placement of dredged material, and benefits to the Chesapeake ecosystem.

Dredging is the removal of sediments that build up in shipping channels – a critical process for providing safe passage for ships that travel the channels. Approximately 150 nautical miles of channels run through the Chesapeake Bay, Patapsco Rive, and Baltimore Harbor. On average, 4.7 million cubic yards of sediment must be dredged every year to maintain them. Finding solutions with sustainable capacity for this volume of dredged material is an ongoing challenge.

Currently, the Port has three active dredged material placement sites: Masonville, Cox Creek and Poplar Island. MDOT MPA is required to have a 20-year plan for managing dredged material and is always exploring new Potential Projects.

Entities requesting to place dredged material at a Port owned placement site are required to apply and obtain a Right of Entry Agreement. Instructions on the application process and information needed for submittal are included in the Dredged Material Placement Right of Entry Application. Additional instructions can also be found here.  Please note that currently MDOT MPA is only accepting applications for maintenance projects.

Safe passage in and around the Port of Baltimore is guided by the Harbor Safety and Coordination Committee, which has been acknowledged as one of the most efficient harbor coordination groups in the county.