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washington island dredging project


Foth Wins WEDA Environmental Excellence Award

Foth was recently presented with a WEDA (Western Dredging Association) Environmental Excellence Award at the organization’s annual Summit and Expo in Houston, Texas. The awards are given annually to the most innovative dredging projects that effectively incorporate stakeholder outreach and create notable environmental and economic benefits.

In the Navigation Dredging category, the Silver Award was granted to the project team of Foth; the Town of Washington, Wisconsin; Washington Island Ferry Line; and Roen Salvage Company for their work on the Detroit Harbor Navigation Channel Dredging and Expansion Project, in the Town of Washington, Washington Island, Wisconsin. 

The project was initiated due to low water levels in Lake Michigan. The shallow water made it increasingly difficult for the ferry to navigate the channel between the Door County Peninsula and Washington Island, and jeopardized the economic lifeline of Washington Island. In addition, island residents were at risk of being stranded if the channel was not dredged in a short time period as the ferry was reaching within a foot of the bottom.

With the assistance of a $5.2 million dollar Wisconsin Department of Transportation Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) grant, the project team managed weather, turbidity, and unique location challenges to dredge, deepen, and widen the navigation channel with the first major dredging work since 1939.

According to a Foth environmental program manager, “We’re pleased that this project provided important environmental and economic benefits to the state of Wisconsin, and that what we learned from this project will be applicable to other environmental projects in the future.”

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