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There was very little benthic cover on the 60’ peak, but was quite lush benthic cover at the 80’ peak – dominated by sponges.

September 23-27, 2013
aboard R/V MANTA

The purpose of this trip was to evaluate the condition of Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Sites (ODMDS) in the Sabine-Neches area off the Texas coast.

Site monitoring was conducted at four (4) active Sabine-Neches ODMDS, surrounding area and two (2) historic reference areas.


R/V Manta crew
EPA Region 6 researchers and scientists

Group of researchers posing on the bow of R/V MANTA
Back Row: Aaron Hoff, Mark Stead, Troy Pierce
Front Row: Terry Cake, Davie Nguyen, Jessica Franks, AJ Ruffer, Tim Hammermeister, Preston Martin

Photo: EPA Region 6

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Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI)

Sediment Profile Imaging (SPI) surveys were used to locate the boundaries of the dredged material sites and identify where they overlay native sediments. These images were also used to determine the level of disturbance in the area by looking at benthic organisms.

Sediment Profile Imaging camera attached to a winch cable on the deck of R/V MANTA
Securing the SPI camera at end of survey. Captain Mike on the winch controls. Terry and Preston assisting.
Photo: EPA Region 6

Sediment Sampling

Sediment samples for chemistry and benthic community analysis were collected at each of the ODMDS sites, surrounding area, and historic reference areas.

Two men with the VanVeen Grab attached to hoisting cable on the back deck of R/V MANTA
Aaron and Tim assisting with the placement of the
double Van Veen grab on its stand after retrieval.

Photo: EPA Region 6

Two men removing sediment samples from a VanVeen Grab
Jessica and Terry collecting sediment from double
Van Veen grab.
Photo: EPA Region 6

Wooden work station set up on the deck of R/V MANTA
Wash Table for sieving sediment samples for benthic collections. Photo: EPA Region 6

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This was the first time the R/V MANTA was used for EPA Region 6 ODMDS monitoring, instead of a a much larger vessel. The speed and maneuverability of R/V MANTA significantly reduced the amount of time spent getting on location and improved on the ability to hold position while on station. As a result, the survey was completed two (2) days early.

People packing samples and equipment into coolers for transport
EPA folks packing up at the end of a successful trip.
Photo: FGBNMS/Park

Way to go Team MANTA!

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There was very little benthic cover on the 60’ peak, but was quite lush benthic cover at the 80’ peak – dominated by sponges.

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Orange, branching gorgonian (soft coral) anchored in a bed of sponges and other sea life.
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