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ANAMAR Completes Jacksonville Sediment Sampling

Michelle Rau, ANAMAR team member on the Jacksonville project.

Michelle Rau, ANAMAR team member on the Jacksonville project.

ANAMAR completed the sediment and water sampling of the St. Johns River, Florida, in early December. The work was in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project to deepen and widen the federal navigation channel.

The Jacksonville Harbor deepening is one of the seven infrastructure projects at five major ports that President Obama named when he announced his “We Can’t Wait” initiative in July 2012. The other ports are Miami, Savannah, New York/New Jersey and Charleston – all to develop plans to accept post-Panamax ships when the expanded canal opens. The Presidential Executive Order included 43 national infrastructure projects to be expedited.

Terence Cake, vice president, and Michelle Rau, operations and project manager, of Anamar conducted the sampling project. Beginning in late October, they worked with a drilling crew to take core samples, grab samples and water samples in the 13-mile-long project area. The Jacksonville Harbor Channel Deepening project includes deepening a portion of the channel from an existing 40 feet to 47 feet with two feet of over-depth, and widening the channel at two bends in the meandering St. Johns River. Sampling and testing will ensure that the dredged material is in compliance with federal requirements for offshore placement.

Athena Technologies’ crew members aboard the sampling boat Artemis taking core samples in Norfolk. ANAMAR contracted the Artemis for its Jacksonville, Florida sampling project this fall.

Working from the sampling boat Artemis, operated by Athena Technologies, Inc. and joined by the Corps Wilmington District’s multi-purpose vessel Snell, the team collected core samples from each of the 31 dredging units in the project area. This translated to 80 core samples, taken from the sediment surface to refusal or project depth. The 104-foot vessel Snell handled the unusually long cores, some as long as 40 feet.

Samples were put into non-contaminating Teflon bags, labeled, stored in coolers on-board, and then transferred to a refrigerated truck on shore.

Aerial photo shows details of the deepening project in the St. Johns River between the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville, Florida. The map is oriented with north on the right

“The cold stops the chemical and biological activity that would alter the properties of the material,” Rau explained.

“Detailed field observations of the sampling location and visual characteristics of the sample material are recorded on project-specific field sheets, which are scanned and the data entered into tables for submittal to the client,” Cake said, “along with primary and backup GPS data of the sample locations.”

Sediment samples from an offshore reference station in a contaminant-free area similar to the planned offshore placement site serve as a control for comparison to sediment from the sediment testing.

Samples will undergo chemical analysis at a lab in Kelso, Washington, bioassay analysis at Port Gamble, Washington, and physical analysis in Jacksonville.

“Sediment evaluation is what we’re known for,” Cake said. “This one is unusually large for us. The field collection portion of most projects of this type are usually less than a week,” he said.

Anamar did the sampling in Charleston Harbor for its Post 45 deepening plan, and has done the sampling and analysis for many other dredging projects in the Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.


In a separate contract, Michelle Rau, the other team member on the sampling project, wrote the Environmental Impact Statement for the expanded offshore dredged material disposal site, which was finalized in spring 2014. The site is seven miles offshore, south of the mouth of the St. Johns River. It is an expansion of the existing one-square-mile site, increasing the area to six square nautical miles.

Workers extrude a core sample into a non-contaminating Teflon bag aboard the Artemis.

Anamar is a Hispanic woman-owned small business with headquarters in Gainesville, Florida, and a branch office in Portland, Oregon, which serves the West Coast.

Owner Nadia Lombardero is president, with a B.S. in chemistry from Texas A&M University and M.S. in analytical chemistry and toxicology from the University of Florida. She has worked with government agencies, managing complex environmental projects since 1991.

Terence Cake, one of the Jacksonville project team members, has a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Florida, an MBA from Colorado State University, and Professional Engineer licenses in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. He specializes in hydrology, surface water quality, environmental biology, design of treatment plants, and project management.

Michelle Rau has a B.S. in natural resource conservation and an M.S. in soil and water science, both from the University of Florida. Her experience is in wetland ecology, water quality, soil science, wildlife ecology, plant taxonomy, and field sampling methods. As project manager, she supervises field efforts, manages budgets, and executes other project management tasks.

Christine Smith manages technology and communications. With a B.A. in environmental geography from the University of South Florida, she coordinates spatial data collection, management, interpretation and analysis for dredging, ecological, and engineering projects. She serves as project manager for sediment evaluation and navigation projects. Smith directs business development and communications efforts.

Snell crew members deploy the 40-foot corer in preparation for obtaining a sample from the 47-foot-deep federal channel bottom.

Rebecca Lee-Duffell logs field and navigation data in the wheelhouse of the Snell. She was the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District technical lead and environmental scientist on the project.

Out of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Wilmington District, the multi-purpose vessel Snell was brought to Jacksonville to handle the 40-foot core samples. The Snell is used for clearing, snagging, wreck removal, pile driving, construction and repairs of marine structures, as a derrick boat, refueling vessel and clamshell dredge. The Snell has living quarters for a crew of six.

Retrieving a 40-foot core aboard the Snell are Terence Cake, left, and Michael Madonna of ANAMAR, as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crew members observe.

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