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CTMA joins the fight against coastal erosion in a Canadian first

October 21, 2020

Through its Dragage IM division, CTMA is joining forces with the CERMIM research centre to carry out an innovative project that involves providing sand from offshore borrow pits to fight coastal erosion. By combining its dredging expertise with that of the experts at this centre for insular and maritime environments, CMTA hopes to contribute to the fight against coastal erosion in the Îles de la Madeleine archipelago.

Outsized dredging (away from ports and navigational channels) will be done at offshore borrow pits. The project’s goal is to test and adapt, at a scale equivalent to the land base of the Îles de la Madeleine, techniques developed elsewhere in the world that allow a supply of granular material such as sand. These materials could notably be used to combat coastal erosion through beach replenishment, for example. A small-scale test bench will be done based on the developed techniques, specifically in Florida where the CERMIM team had the chance to take part in the technical tour of a beach replenishment site in 2020. The centre hopes to adapt the approaches that have proven themselves elsewhere and will lend themselves to developing sustainable practices applicable to the Magdalen Islands.

The procurement of the granular material from offshore borrow pits is common practice in many places around the world but not in Quebec or the rest of Canada. In addition to facilitating the development of innovative techniques in the fight against coastal erosion, the partnership between CTMA and CERMIM will contribute to the development of a Madelinot expertise. The project taking place in the Pointe de Havre-aux-Maisons sector also represents an opportunity to reuse dredged sediment in the vein of a circular economy. The time frame for establishing the test bench is from October to November 2020 and is expected to take place over a period of about four days.

Photo from the CERMIM Website