Over the last 400 years, the forest that once covered Hampton has given way to streets and yards and buildings. This has greatly increased the rate of sedimentation in the rivers and creeks. Dredging digs out bottom sediment to restore sufficient depth for drainage or navigation as needed. Controversy can arise over where the dredged spoils are disposed of and whether the deepening of a channel is beneficial or harmful to the ecosystem. Funding for dredging may fall to the adjacent property owners or to government.
Issues include public access to waterways, property ownership rights, costs & funding, legal regulations, and making best use of waterways as assets and opportunities.