Maryland Environmental Service (MES)

Key Services

  • Water Quality Sampling
  • Sediment Sampling
  • Ichthyoplankton Taxonomy
  • Zooplankton Taxonomy

Project Details

CRI provided environmental investigation services to MES on the Masonville Dredged Materials Disposal Site project as both a subconsultant on the current A/E Professional Services Contract for Dredged Material Management, Habitat Development, and Environmental Investigation & Documentation, and as a prime consultant.

Nutrient Monitoring:
CRI was a subconsultant for nutrient monitoring at Masonville Cove in proximity to the pilot Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) site, which was constructed between Masonville Marine Terminal Pier 3 and Fairfield Marine Terminal Pier 4 in 2016. At the request of the Maryland Environmental Service and Maryland Port Administration, CRI assisted in the collection of water and sediment samples in proximity to the pilot CAD site prior to construction of the CAD in order to establish baseline conditions. CRI also collected water samples during the placement of dredge material within the CAD cell. During the fall/winter of 2015-2016 water grab samples were collected at the surface and mid-depth at 11 locations using a peristaltic pump at least twice per month. In situ water quality measurements were taken at 5-foot intervals at these 11 locations, using a Hydrolab Quanta multi-meter. Water grab samples were filtered and sent the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory for analysis in order to determine baseline nutrient and turbidity characteristics surrounding the pilot CAD site. In the spring of 2016, sediment samples were collected using a Ponar grab sampler at several locations in the proximity of the proposed dredging in order to determine baseline chemical composition of the dredge material prior to disposal in the CAD cell. Finally, water grabs and in situ water quality data were collected during the placement of dredge material in the CAD cell in the winter of 2017 in order to monitor acute impacts of the placement on the surrounding area caused by nutrients and/or sediment.

Plankton Monitoring:
CRI is a prime consultant for monitoring the plankton community in proximity of the mitigation efforts related to the Masonville Dredged Material Containment Facility (DMCF) in Baltimore Harbor. The Masonville DMCF was constructed from 2007-2010 and impacted approximately 130 acres of tidal open water. Mitigation efforts for the facility included restoring deep water reef and fish habitat by installing over 2,000 reef balls and improving shallow water habitat substrate by introducing 158,000 tons of clean sand. CRI has provided plankton taxonomy services for this project since 2016 in order to assist in the monitoring of the plankton community in response to the mitigation efforts. These services include laboratory sorting and identification of zooplankton and ichthyoplankton (eggs, larvae, and juveniles) from 18 samples annually. Samples are collected via plankton tows at 6 sites in the vicinity of the mitigation efforts during the spring, summer, and fall of each year until 2020.