Aquatic Disposal Field Investigations Galveston, Texas, Offshore Disposal Site. Evaluative Summary.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MISS
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This study was part of an investigation to determine the environmental effects of offshore dredged material disposal at Galveston, Texas. The biological portion of the study was conducted in two phases a pilot survey of the dredged material disposal site DMDS to determine the areal distribution of the biota and sediments and an experimental study to assess the effect of dredged material disposal on the biota at selected sites in the DMDS. Three experimental sites were investigated a sandy bottom that received sand, shell, and silt-clay dredged material a muddy bottom that received sand and shell dredged material and a muddy bottom that received silt-clay dredged material. The magnitude of the effect on the benthic populations could not be accurately assessed because adequate predisposal data on natural sediment and benthic population changes were not available. Dredged material deposits had no apparent effect on feeding habits of fish or on the distribution of nekton, although some nektonic species may have congregated in the turbid water following dredged material disposal. Zooplankton and phytoplankton studies detected no population changes during disposal that could not have been due to sampling error. It is probable that sudden abiotic changes and commercial fishing activities cause more destruction of biota than dredging-related activities.
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