In the fall of 2021, an established company with a solid reputation in commercial dredging and a new company that’s already making a name for itself put forward a plan for one of the most ambitious builds the industry has ever seen. Michael Kerns, president and CEO of Muddy Water Dredging, and Bob Wetta, president and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC, launched a project to build a custom 24-inch dual pump Marlin Class dredge—one of the largest of its kind in the United States, to maintain U.S. navigable waterways. 

Left to right: Matthew B. Devall, co-owner and director of Muddy Water Dredging; Charlie Johnson, director of domestic dredge sales of DSC Dredge, LLC; and Michael J. Kerns, co-owner and president of Muddy Water Dredging.
Left to right: Matthew B. Devall, co-owner and director of Muddy Water Dredging; Bob Wetta, president and CEO of DSC Dredge, LLC; and Michael J. Kerns, co-owner and president of Muddy Water Dredging.


Muddy Water Dredging (MWD) was established in late 2021 with corporate headquarters located in Orange, Texas. Co-owners Michael J. Kerns and Matthew B. Devall bring over forty years of experience in the dredging and maritime transportation industry. According to co-owners, “MWD will engage a first principles approach by employing the latest technological advancements to the machinery and employees allowing for a truly unique and forward-thinking organization, we are incredibly excited to join a dynamic industry that is vitally important in sustaining U.S. Navigable Waterways.”

Over the years, DSC has made its name in the industry for helping clients make the right choice when it comes to their dredging needs and MWD is a continuation of that client partnership. This custom Marlin Class dredge will have an overall length of 371 feet, making it one of if not the longest 24-inch dredge in the United States with the capability of dredging a 400-foot-wide cut utilizing an 80-degree swing arc—increasing the dredge’s swing/advance efficiency by 5.9 percent. At a duty point of 28,236-gallon-per-minute slurry volume, this new dredge will have the ability of filling an Olympic size swimming pool with dredge slurry in only twenty-three minutes and can completely fill an area the size of the New Orleans Superdome in only twenty-three days.

Rendering of custom 24-inch dual pump Marlin Class dredge.


Notwithstanding the massiveness and strength this dredge embodies, its customization not only includes a detachable carriage barge that allows the dredge to quickly convert from a wide cut format configuration to a shorter conventional dredge configuration for work in areas with limited space but also has lay-down carriage barge spuds to facilitate transit under low clearance structures. The perfect balance of elegant design and outstanding function—this is the essence of design meets function. 

This custom dredge will be equipped with DSC’s survey-grade DSC Vision package, DSC’s Dredge Rx remote monitoring package, and DSC’s Dredge Quality Management (DQM) system for automated USACE reporting. The dredge will also be fitted with three 12-by-12-foot offices, a 15-by-19-foot meeting/break room, restroom facilities, and a 20-by-27-foot lever room.

A smaller version of the LSA-54 pump will be used on the new dredge.


In early March, DSC Dredge officials joined representatives of MWD on a visit to GIW Industries, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy duty, centrifugal slurry pumps. During the visit, Charles Johnson, DSC director of domestic dredge sales, together with MWD co-owners Kerns and Devall checked out the LSA-54 pump (a smaller version of the one that will be used on MWD’s new dredge). This custom 24-inch diesel-electric design, with a total installed horsepower of 9,621 horsepower and delivering 6,830 kilowatts  of electrical power, is expected to be completed before the end of 2023. 


“I am extremely grateful to everyone involved for all the hard work over the last few months to make this a reality,” states Devall. 

Kerns adds, “I am extremely proud to re-enter the U.S. dredging industry as co-owner and president of Muddy Water Dredging and fortunate to have an opportunity to incorporate my many years of dredging experience into the design of our new 24-inch cutter-suction dredge.”

“DSC is extremely excited to partner with Muddy Water Dredging on this new 24-inch dredge build. The specifications and overall design of the dredge will lend itself to the future of efficient dredge designs while still providing a beast of a dredge. Muddy Water Dredging has taken steps to bring a new dredge to the industry that will be designed for high production capacity, the latest in dredging technology and an efficient and practical design. It doesn’t get much better than partnering with clients that share the same vision and that’s exactly what we have with Muddy Water Dredging. This is going to be fun,” states Bob Wetta, president and CEO of DSC Dredge. 


DSC is a global leader in the dredge manufacturing industry, engineering superior customized dredging solutions to meet specific application needs, while continuing to exceed customer expectations. DSC Dredge designs and manufactures high quality, durable cutter suction dredges. DSC Dredge helps customers make the right choice. Quality, innovation, service, commitment, and customization are key DSC attributes, which explains why customers choose to work with DSC. DSC Dredge operates from three manufacturing facilities located in Reserve, Louisiana; Poplarville, Mississippi; and Greenbush, Michigan.  For more information, visit

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