Dredging and Restoration Program in Bayou Chico, Florida
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Bayou Chico is located within the Pensacola Bay Watershed with more than 235 acres of surface water area and a drainage basin of 6,600 acreas.

It is one of the most historically contaminated water bodies in Florida. As part of the Bayou Chico Restoration project, Escambia County and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredged the bayou to provide improved aesthetics and navigation. The Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) relocated dredge material using a hydraulic sluice from portions of the Bayou into Clark Sand Pits, an adjacent property that was formerly used as a sand pit. The sand pit is located within a transition zone from relative fresh surface water to a tidally influenced brackish creek. Geosyntec was retained by the NWFWMD to provide consulting services and technical support for the entire duration of the dredging and wetland restoration project in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, including permitting, post-dredging monitoring, and sediment characterization.

Our services have included a detailed hydrogeologic characterization to support monitoring of surface and groundwater conditions before and after dredging; technical support for the dredge permit application, evaluation of the extent to which constituents of concern (COCs) in the dredge material might impact underlying groundwater supplies; baseline water quality monitoring to establish current groundwater and surface water site conditions; daily monitoring and surface water management during dredging activities; preparation of the post-dredge groundwater, surface-water, and sediment sampling and analysis plans; pre- and post-groundwater and surface water monitoring related to the permit requirements; and quarterly post-dredging sediment characterization drilling and reporting.

Data collection and evaluation activities during the pre- and post-characterization efforts included geophysical logging of the deep zone monitor and observation wells, borehole geophysical records for refinement of lithologic and hydrogeologic characterization of the local aquifer materials, extensive modeling, and a combination of vibracore and direct-push technology for dredged material sediment characterization above and below surface water.

As the consultant of record, Geosyntec effectively provided technical support and integration of various data collection and evaluation tools which allowed successful permitting and project execution on this project that faced an extended permitting process and local scruitiny. The project required a high level of hydrogeological characterization and integration of groundwater, surface water, and sediment data from pre- and post-monitoring and characterization. The post-dredging characterization supported our original modeling and characterization and saved District the significant effort of relocating the dredged material. Geosyntec was also successful in working with the multiple project partners, including Escambia County, NWFWMD, USACE, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

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Project Summary

  • Location: Pensacola, Florida
  • Client: Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD)
  • Project Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources
  • Type of Facility: Water resources
  • Services Provided: Sediment Dredging Oversight, Monitoring and Post-characterization, Contaminant Fate and Transport Analysis, Regulatory Negotiations, Environmental Permitting, Hydrogeologic Characterization
  • Type of Work: Sediment dredging support
  • Governing Regulation: State regulations