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Section 103 Sediment Evaluation, San Juan Harbor, Pier 3 and 4 and Pan-American Pier, San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan Harbor is located on the north coast of Puerto Rico and provides access to deep-draft vessel traffic using terminal facilities located in the city of San Juan.  The port facilities located in the harbor handle most of the cargo for Puerto Rico.  It is the island’s principal port, handling over 75% of the commonwealth’s non-petroleum waterborne commerce and is the only harbor on the north coast affording protection in all types of weather.

Maintenance dredging within San Juan Harbor is required to provide unrestricted access for ocean-going vessels calling upon the port facilities in San Juan.  ANAMAR was contracted by USACE to perform sampling activities within the project area to determine the suitability of the sediment for ocean disposal as required under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA) (Public Law 92-532). 

This project involved collecting and analyzing samples from two dredging units, Reach A and Reach B, within San Juan Harbor and one offshore reference sample.  Collection of samples required a combination of grab sampling and vibracore sampling.  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 analysis of sediment, elutriate, water, and tissue samples of the proposed dredge material collected from the project area.  ANAMAR also coordinated the logistics of shipping equipment to San Juan (including the vibracore sampling vessel) and getting the shipment through customs, shipping samples from San Juan to the various laboratories while ensuring samples remained within the required temperature until arrival at the laboratory, and locating and renting a boat that was large enough to go offshore and equipped to sample in 170 feet of water for the reference station sample.  Additionally, ANAMAR was asked to sample and analyze dredge material from Piers 3 and 4 and the Pan-American piers after the field team had mobilized to Puerto Rico.  The ANAMAR field team had sufficient field resources to accommodate this request and save the USACE the cost of an additional mobilization to collect sample materials in these areas.

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