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Puerto Rico Sediment Characterization and Analysis for Emergency Dredging at Mayaguez Harbor, Arecibo Harbor and Rio Puerto Nuevo

The Rio Puerto Nuevo Channel is in San Juan Harbor, in northeastern Puerto Rico.  Arecibo Harbor is approximately 34 nmi west of San Juan.  Mayaguez Harbor is along the western coast of the island.  These three harbors are in need for maintenance dredging, and the maintenance plan includes the disposal of most of the dredged material at respective ocean dredged material disposal sites (ODMDSs).  ANAMAR was contracted by USACE Jacksonville District to perform sampling, testing, reporting, and characterization of maintenance dredged material in accordance with MPRSA §103.  ANAMAR provided all necessary information to determine the suitability of dredged material for ocean disposal at the respective ODMDSs.

Rio Puerto Nuevo was split into three project-specific dredging units, each representing a distinct reach of the channel.  Arecibo and Mayaguez were each sampled as a single dredging unit.  Field sampling was conducted in November and December 2018 and involved collection of vibracore and grab sediment samples and water samples.  ANAMAR coordinated and directed field operations and worked closely with USACE and EPA to design sampling and analysis schemes, perform sample collection, and subcontract coring services and laboratory analysis.  ANAMAR reviewed all data and produced draft and final versions of sediment characterization reports for each of the three dredging projects.  Each report provided the methods and results of the physical, chemical, toxicological, and bioaccumula­tion analysis of samples.  These reports were submitted to USACE and this agency then produced sediment evaluations which were then submitted to EPA for concurrence.  EPA provided concurrence to USACE in July 2019 for ocean disposal of the dredged material from Mayaguez, Arecibo, and Rio Puerto Nuevo.


  • Collected sediment and water samples while adhering to specified protocols
  • Worked closely with the labs and USACE to ensure that analytical milestones were met on schedule and in accordance with guidance documents.
  • Submitted separate sediment testing reports for each of the three harbors on schedule and meeting all necessary objectives.
  • Submitted separate sediment characterization reports for each harbor, demonstrating environmental compliance of sediments to be dredged, for USACE to obtain concurrence of compliance from EPA.
  • USACE successfully obtained concurrence from EPA in July 2019 for ocean disposal of dredged material for all three projects.

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