Dynamic Sediment AssessmentSan Francisco, CA, USA
Residual contamination from a now-defunct manufactured gas operator at one of San Francisco’s busy urban harbors poses risks for the local tourism and fisheries industries. Navigating an active harbor front, INSPIRE designed and conducted a 100+ station SPI survey to assess remediation needs and options related to legacy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination. INSPIRE staff compared data from the SPI survey to previous sediment chemistry and biological community index results conducted in the harbor and integrated these data to inform both industry and government regulators. SPI imagery revealed impacts to the benthic ecology from frequent physical disturbance like scour and dredging activity, providing robust, comprehensive analysis of benthic health which other methods would have struggled to fully capture. Through careful analysis of the SPI and existing sediment quality index results, INSPIRE scientists presented a new option for assessing impairment to the benthic community in the harbor, enhancing the decision-making ability of district managers as they plan for remediation.