U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District - Noyo River and Harbor, 2010 Pilot Study - Sediment Sampling, Characterization, Reporting and Consulting Services

Deployment of vibracore sediment sampler from deck of work vessel.
Noyo River and Harbor serves as a vital harbor of refuge and supports a Coast Gu
Prime Contractor: 
Period of Performance: 
October, 2010 to May, 2012
Project Description: 

As a part of its Operations and Maintenance Dredging Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) periodically develops a sampling and analysis plan to characterize sediments proposed for dredging within the Noyo River & Harbor. Noyo River and Harbor is a small, shallow draft harbor of refuge supporting a Coast Guard search and rescue station, commercial and sport fishing, and recreational boating. Located in the city of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County, California, the harbor is approximately 140 miles north of San Francisco. In 2009 the USACE proposed a Pilot Study (and developed the Noyo River and Harbor 2010 Pilot Study Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)) to evaluate the potential for beneficial reuse of Noyo Harbor dredge materials for beach nourishment at McKerricher Beach, 10 miles to the north. Sediment characterization of Noyo Harbor, McKerricher Beach and offshore sediments was an integral part of the Pilot Study, which also included a Comprehensive Evaluation of Project Datums (CEPD) Corrective action, a Comprehensive Condition Survey of the jetties at Noyo Harbor, and additional offshore survey and current metering work. Sea Surveyors, Inc. contracted with ADH to carry out the SAP and evaluate the sediments for multiple disposal/reuse option.

Scope of Services: 


Based upon the USACE’s SAP, ADH developed and managed all technical aspects of this contract. ADH staff, in association with Sea Surveyor and a vibracoring subcontractor, performed all sediment coring, grab sampling and site water sampling from three navigational channel composite areas and three offshore composite areas. Two beach composite samples composed of surficial hand cores were also collected independently by ADH staff. The sediment composite samples were subjected to physical, chemical, and Modified Elutriate Test (MET) analyses. All analytical methods followed procedures specified in the SAP, Inland Testing Manual, Upland Testing Manual, and Ocean Testing Manual.

Results of physical, chemical and MET analyses test were evaluated by ADH to determine the harbor sediment’s suitability for three different disposal options: beach nourishment at McKerricher Beach, ocean disposal at the Humboldt Open Ocean Dredge Site (HOODS), and upland disposal at the harbor district’s disposal site

Analytical results were evaluated in relation to criteria established in the California Ocean Plan, California Toxics Rule, and USEPA Recommended Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Saltwater and Freshwater Aquatic Life. A draft sediment evaluation report was prepared by ADH for the USACE and followed guidelines provided in the SAP and Public Notice 99-4: Sampling and Analysis Plan (Quality Assurance Project Plan) Guidance for Dredging Projects within the San Francisco District.
The project was overseen by the USACE, and the final report is expected to incorporate comments from the USACE, USEPA Region 9, North Coast RWQCB, California Department of Fish & Game, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and California Coastal Commission.