This past November, District staff members Rachel Hammack and Kristin Adams assisted the USDA-NRCS with subaqueous soil sampling in the Great Bay. The NRCS Soil and Plant Science Division is responsible for surveying, mapping, and interpreting the nation's soil resources and publishing the data in Web Soil Survey. The Coastal Zone Soil Survey (CZSS) Focus Team concentrates its efforts on improving the soil survey along the coastal zone, including the dunes, marshes, beaches, and shallow sub-tidal soils in coastal lagoons, bays, and inlets. Based out of the Hammonton, New Jersey Soil Survey Office, MLRA (Major Land Resource Area) Soil Survey Office Leader David Steinmann and Soil Scientist Adam DeWolf are part of this team of soil scientists that works primarily in the coastal zone areas throughout New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. (Photo: David Steinmann and Kristin Adams use the vibracore to retrieve a subaqueous soil sample.)
The Great Bay and Mullica River subaqueous survey sampled the subaqueous soils (soils that are submerged for more than 21 hours each day) or better known as the “bottom of the bay” or “bay muck” throughout the watershed. An electric vibracore with a 3-inch sampling tube and/or a McCauley peat auger were used to retrieve the samples. The samples are then brought back to a lab for analysis at a later date. Read more about the Great Bay and Mullica River subaqueous soil survey on our blog. Visit our website to learn more about subaqueous soil research in the Barnegat Bay.