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Morehead City Harbor Federal Navigation Project, MPRSA Section 103 Sediment Testing and Analysis, Morehead City, North Carolina

Morehead City Harbor includes parts of the Newport River, Bogue Sound, and Beaufort Inlet.  Vessels transit to and from the Atlantic Ocean via the Beaufort Inlet Channel and the federal Morehead City Navigation Channel to reach the Port of Morehead City and the west side of Radio Island.

ANAMAR was contracted by USACE Wilmington District to perform activities related to the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) and in support of the Morehead City Harbor Federal Navigation Project and the North Carolina State Ports Authority.  The purpose of this project was to assist USACE in determining the suitability of approximately 220,000 cubic yards of dredged sediment for ocean disposal in the Morehead City ODMDS as required under the MPRSA.  The dredging project was needed to enhance depths in navigation channels to allow deep-draft vessels to safely and efficiently navigate the harbor.

Areas proposed for dredging were divided into three dredging units (DUs) representing associated channel reaches and ranges and based on relatively consistent characteristics.  A field effort was conducted in October 2013 involving sediment sampling using Ponar and modified Petersen grab samplers and collection of site water using a pneumatic pump.  ANAMAR coordinated and directed field operations and worked closely with USACE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to design sampling and analysis schemes, perform sample collection, subcontract laboratory analyses, and prepare final report deliverables.  ANAMAR reviewed all data and produced a report summarizing the results of the physical, chemical, toxicological, and bioaccumulation analysis of sediment, elutriate, water, and tissue samples of the material proposed for dredging and ocean disposal.  An MPRSA Section 103 sediment testing report was finalized by ANAMAR in March 2013 for use by USACE in obtaining concurrence from EPA for all three DUs using a maximum disposal capacity of between 9,000 and 13,500 cubic yards per barge load and without restrictions on location.

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