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Sediment Characterization: Cathlamet Side Channel (Tongue Point), Lower Columbia River, Clatsop County, OR

USACE routinely dredges several projects on the Oregon Coast and Columbia River to maintain their federally authorized navigation channels.  In accordance with the Clean Water Act, USACE conducts sediment sampling and analysis at these projects prior to dredging to determine suitability for unconfined in-water disposal of dredged sediments and aquatic exposure of the post-dredge surface material.  The purpose of this project is to provide sediment quality characterization for two shoals in the Cathlamet federal side channel on the east side of Tongue Point on the Columbia River, near Astoria, Oregon.  The Cathlamet side channel is 1.8 miles long and begins at the confluence with the Columbia River (RM 0.0) to a turning basin at the channel terminus. 

ANAMAR was responsible for coordinating all field logistics, subcontracting a suitable vibracore vessel, leading and supervising all field sample collection and s ample processing activities, coordinating shipping logistics with the laboratories to ensure samples arrived in good condition and were processed within holding times, performing data QA/QC, compiling results into tables, and identifying exceedances of screening criteria.

The data quality objectives for this sediment characterization were to:

  • Characterize sediments to be dredged from the project area in accordance with protocols found in the Sediment Evaluation Framework for the Pacific Northwest (SEF)
  • Collect, handle, and analyze representative sediment from the dredge boundaries and in accordance with SEF protocols and QA/QC requirements.
  • Characterize sediments to be dredged to determine its suitability for unconfined aquatic placement and aquatic exposure and to inform upland disposal options.

This large sampling effort included collecting core samples from 95 DMMUs and two sideslope management units, resulting in over 190 core samples.  To maximize sample collection and processing efficiency, two teams were established.  One team was on the vessel collecting the samples and the other team was onshore processing and containerizing the samples.  ANAMAR coordinated closely with the laboratory to arrange for a courier to pick up samples several times during the field effort to make sure they were received by the lab in time to process within holding times. 

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