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USACE Leads Effort to Monitor Water Quality for Port Deepening Project

US Army Corps

of Engineers

USACE Leads Effort to Monitor Water Quality for Port Deepening Project

The Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is working with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center to use an artificial intelligence tool capable of assisting with the monitoring of water quality and oceanographic conditions in preparation for a deepening project at Port Everglades in Florida.   

The collaborative effort focuses on using the Environmental Information Synthesizer for Expert Systems, an NOAA-developed ecological forecast tool that uses AI to expedite and automate the analysis of aggregate environmental data.

According to Xaymara Serrano, a coral biologist at USACE, the EISES tool is meant to assist with adaptive management of the planned Port Everglades Deepening project, DVIDS Hub reported Thursday

The Army-NOAA team will use EISES to record data from sea-floor sensors that have been deployed to measure turbidity, total suspended solids, sediment deposition, seabed light, waves, current, temperature and salinity.  

A trial water quality monitoring buoy has already been put in place to collect data during and after the construction of the operations and maintenance dredging at the port. 

In addition, the team developed a diver-based monitoring protocol for the project to assess indicators of sediment stress levels and sediment depth measurements. Collected diver-based survey data can then be integrated with EISES. 

The data collection process is expected to yield daily, weekly and monthly reports and help generate alerts notifying scientists when dredging corrective actions are needed. 

The USACE also drafted an adaptive management plan to support decision making during dredging operations for the deepening project. The plan is envisioned to identify and minimize permanent project-related effects to nearby sensitive marine resources such as corals, Serrano said.

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Tags: Army Corps of Engineers artificial intelligence DVIDS Hub EISES Engineer Research and Development Center National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Popular Voices Port Everglades US Army water quality Xaymara Serrano