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Sediment Assessment and Management

The Sediment Assessment and Management Program

The Sediment Assessment and Management Program is responsible for the field collection of sediment samples, the identification of contaminants of concern and possible sources, and the preparation of reports and evaluation of impacts. In regards to dredging, the program develops 401 Certification conditions, the evaluation of in-water and riparian disposal options and the design of a monitoring regimen to evaluate compliance/impacts. A working knowledge of dredging issues and technology is sustained. This program provides an expert opinion on sediment related issues to other DEC units, Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies, and other interested/involved parties.

Dredge Materials Management

River and lake bottoms are often the final sink for historically discharged contaminants. The dredging of these sediments (for navigation, habitat restoration, etc.) needs careful management to ensure they are collected and disposed of properly. The Division of Water has put together a guidance document to assist in the placement of sediment and dredged material. (PDF)

New York State Sediment Inventory

This program has compiled and maintained a database of the chemical and physical characteristics of the sediments around the state. The database is in a MS Access format. For an electronic copy of this database, please contact the Division of Water.

Status and Trends Report for Freshwater and Marine Sediments (May 2006)

The compilation of over 20 years of sediment assessment work completed by DEC staff. The dataset spans the State of New York and includes surficial and core data for contaminants of concern. The dataset includes over 75,000 records for the thirteen contaminants that were measured in roughly 9,600 samples.

The objective of this report was to provide a summary of the sediment data that has been collected and/or compiled by DEC. The data is summarized by chemical class and by watershed. The contaminants of concern include: Total PCBs, total PAHs, total DDT, Toxic equivalents (a measure of toxicity attributable to PCBs, dioxins and furans) and nine, heavy metals - arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc. To obtain a copy of this report, visit the New York State Library (leaves DEC website).

Hudson River Sediment and Biological Survey (November 2000)

In 1997, the Division of Water submitted a proposal to the Hudson River Estuary Management Program (HREMP) to conduct biological monitoring within the lower Hudson River. The biological monitoring would occur at sites where sediment cores were to be evaluated for chemical and physical parameters that were funded under a different proposal under HREMP. Sediment and benthic samples were collected in the fall of 1998, between Albany (140.5 river mile) and Peekskill, NY (42 river mile).

The objective of this project was to characterize sediment quality using the triad approach. This approach uses sediment chemistry, toxicity results, and benthic assessments to describe the sediments. This approach has also been used to develop chemical specific sediment quality criteria (Chapman, 1986 ; Long, 1998 ).