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Section 103 Sediment Evaluation, Arecibo Harbor, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Arecibo Harbor, Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is a small harbor approximately 50 miles west of San Juan.  The Port of Arecibo handles light industrial cargo, including materials for recycling.  The harbor is also used as a public beach along the southern and eastern edges.  The federal navigation project consists of a channel 25 feet deep and 400 feet wide with a flare of 650 feet at the entrance and widening at the inner end to form a maneuvering area with a maximum 900-foot width.  A stone breakwater 1200 feet long extends from Point Morrillos to Cocinera Rock.  The Arecibo Harbor project receives federal maintenance.

ANAMAR was contracted by USACE to perform sampling activities for a Section 103 sediment evaluation.  The purpose of this project was to collect and analyze sediment, site water, and elutriate samples from specified project locations.  These samples were analyzed for physical, chemical, and toxicological parameters.  The objective was to determine the suitability of the sediment for ocean disposal in the Arecibo ODMDS, as required under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA).  Dredging in the project area is needed to ensure continued navigability and maintenance of the Arecibo Harbor navigation channel.

The dredging volume for this project was approximately 250,000 cubic yards of sediment.   Due to the small area in the harbor and low volume of sediment to be dredged, one dredging unit was determined to be sufficient to adequately characterize the sediment.  The project depth was 25 feet plus 2 feet overdredge.  The latest bathymetric surveys prior to sampling indicated water depth from 10 feet to >20 feet; therefore, sediment sampling was done by vibracoring to achieve project depth.

ANAMAR coordinated and directed operations for this project and worked closely with USACE to design sampling and analysis schemes, perform sample collection, subcontract vibracore services and laboratory analyses, and prepare final report deliverables.  ANAMAR reviewed all data and produced a report summarizing the results of the physical, chemical, and toxicological analyses of sediment, elutriate, water, and tissue samples of the proposed dredge material collected from the project area.


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