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Sampling, Chemical Analysis and Bioassessment of Houston Ship Channel Mid-Bay Segment, Galveston County, Texas

This project consisted of Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) Section 103 sediment sampling, analysis, and assessment in support of maintenance dredging the mid-bay segment of Houston Ship Channel in Galveston, Texas. 

Maintenance of the Houston Ship Channel mid-bay segment is performed on a regular basis with hopper dredges to restore the navigation channel to project depth (-46 ft MLLW).  Sampling and analysis of the dredged material was necessary to support this maintenance dredging.  Field sampling was conducted on May 1, 2020 and consisted of collecting sediment and water samples for physical, chemical, toxicological, and bioaccumulation analysis.

Areas to be dredged were divided into three project-specific dredged material manage-ment units (DMMUs).  DMMUs 1 and 2 are within the Houston Ship Channel north of Red Fish Bar and south of Beacon 78.  DMMU 3 is located at the Bayport Ship Channel Flair.  Sampling consisted of 2 to 3 sampling stations per DMMU, 3 stations from within the offshore reference area, and 3 stations within the Galveston ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS) placement area.   A site water sample was also collected at each DMMU and from the ODMDS.  Each DMMU was expected to have relatively consistent characteristics.  Sediment samples from each DMMU were composited and homogenized to create one composite per DMMU.

ANAMAR coordinated and directed field operations and worked closely with USACE and EPA to perform sample collection and laboratory analysis.  ANAMAR reviewed all data and produced a report, finalized in January 2021, summarizing the results of the physical, chemical, toxicological, and bioaccumulation analysis of samples.  Following report completion, USACE received concurrence from EPA Region 6 for ocean disposal of the dredged material.


  • Collected all sediment and water samples while adhering to protocols that ensure sample integrity.
  • Worked closely with the labs and USACE to ensure that analytical milestones were met on schedule and in accordance with guidance documents.
  • Submitted a sediment analysis report on schedule and met all necessary objectives.
  • USACE obtained concurrence from EPA in 2021 that the dredged material was suitable for ocean disposal.
  • Achieved ‘Exceptional’ rating on CPAR for Quality, Schedule, Cost Control, Management, and Small Business Subcontracting for this and other projects under this contract

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