Assessment of Avian Botulism Control Pilot Project at the Dike 14 Confined Dredged Material Disposal Facility, Cleveland, Ohio
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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The Dike 14 Confined Dredged Material Disposal Facility CDF at Cleveland, OH, was the site of an avian botulism outbreak in 1986. At that time the use of noise making devices was not successful in preventing the use of the CDF by shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl susceptible to botulism. The Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers identified the problem as one requiring a generic solution that could be applied at other operational CDFs. In a pilot project, plant propagules were planted at the CDF prior to the disposal operations so that a vegetative cover would rapidly appear as the CDF dewatered after disposal operations. The vegetation on the dewatering dredged material was expected to make the CDF unattractive to shorebirds, wading birds, and waterfowl. The pilot project was a qualified success in the prevention of a 1987 outbreak of avian botulism. The duration of the disposal operation and the depth of the dredged material placed in the CDF limited the anticipated vegetation establishment. However, the final elevation of the dredged material relative to the level of Lake Erie allowed the site to dewater and the vegetation that emerged attracted a terrestrial avifauna. The observed botulism abatement was the result of both additional filling and vegetation establishment. The procedures used to establish vegetation were feasible, compatible with dredging and disposal schedules, and cost-effective. A unique combination of equipment was required, but all of the components were relatively available.
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control