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Sediment Characterization Testing and Analysis for San José Lagoon Portion of the Caño Martín Peña Ecosystem Restoration Project, Puerto Rico

The Caño Martín Peña (CMP) is a 3.75-mile-long tidal channel in metropolitan San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It is part of the San Juan Bay Estuary (SJBE), the only tropical estuary included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Estuary Program.  The SJBE’s watershed is heavily urbanized and covers 97 square miles. Due to years of encroachment and fill of the mangrove swamps along the CMP, it no longer serves as a functional connection between San Juan Bay and San José Lagoon. 

The CMP Ecosystem Restoration Project (ERP) aims to restore the tidal function between San Juan Bay and the San José Lagoon by re‑establishing the tidal connection and restoring the ecological habitat previously lost due to decades of fill material being disposed of at the site.  The fill material is preventing adequate flow in the waterway and causes widespread flooding in neighboring communities.  The CMP ERP will restore tidal connectivity between the lagoon and the bay by removing sediments, debris, and trash; reducing water residence time; improving water quality; improving essential fish habitat conditions and mobility of fish throughout the SJBE; and boosting biodiversity.

ANAMAR was contracted by USACE Jacksonville District to evaluate the sediments found in the footprint of the CMP project.  The evaluation is part of the Section 404 USACE permit and EPA concurrence for the dredge and fill operations in waters of the U.S.  The dredging plan calls for the bulk of the suitable dredged material to be placed at the existing pits in the San José Lagoon.  The objective of the sampling and testing program is to determine if the proposed dredged material is suitable for in‑bay placement. 

ANAMAR was responsible for coordinating and overseeing field sampling logistics, subcontracting with a local geotechnical firm to assist with sampling operations, coordinating with laboratories for sample analysis and testing, providing data quality review and data quality assurance, and preparing report deliverables. 

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