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Marine Geophysics Team One Comes Home

Aug 26, 2015

Our Marine Geophysics Team One (MGTO) has just returned from a several month deployment.  One of their specialties is using our high-powered electromagnetic metal detection system ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle).  We use advanced geophysics to locate dumped, abandoned, secreted, lost and sometimes forgotten metal objects such as:

Treasure (Spanish Galleons along Florida’s Treasure Coast),
Weapons (Amityville top-brake 38) and
UXO (unexploded bombs in the Caspian Sea),
Autos (Passaic River, NJ). 

Using one of our ROV geophysics platforms allows us to survey large areas without leaving a human footprint behind among delicate corals or in toxic sediment. 

For more information on how one of our ROV systems can support your project, please .  Hayes will be happy to guide you to the correct survey solution to meet your projects safety and survey goals.

View the video here.”>

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The Lunch and Learn Season is upon us.

Aug 06, 2015

ASI’s last Lunch & Learn Tour took us to dozens of clients nationally.  The positive feedback made the thousands of miles worthwhile.

This year we are offering a new collection of short videos that will show you what we have been up to for the past year.  As always, we will buy pizza for your team.  During our last tour season we were not able to visit with all of the folks who requested one.  To try to better manage our Lunch & Learn Tour calendar and content we are asking you to:

Request a few different weeks between October and March that would work for your team.  (Some dates are available before October. Please inquire for availability.)
Let us know which of the following services we offer you would like us to cover:

Underwater UXO (bomb) Surveying
Terrestrial UXO Surveying
Underwater Treasure Surveying
The use of Geophysical Surveying in Crime Scene Investigations
Drone Site inspection and Videography
Marine/Aquatic Geophysical Surveying
Airborne Geophysical Surveying
Sediment and Water Column Sampling
Sediment Ocean Disposal Toxicological Studies
Sediment Upland Disposal Contaminant Studies
Sediment, Water Column and Product Toxicological Studies
Screening Potable Water for Weapons of Mass Destruction Contaminants
NCP Oil Spill Control and GLP Product Testing
ASI Humanitarian Projects

We look forward to sharing a slice of what we enjoy doing here at Aqua Survey with you and listening to what your needs are.

Thank you,

Ken Hayes

Aqua Survey, Inc.

If you’d like a Lunch and Learn before October, we have few dates open.  Contact us for more information.

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‘Living Breakwaters’ Storm Barrier Project Taking Shape

Apr 30, 2015

It’s not every day that you get invited to be an on-camera participant at a media event.

Aqua Survey’s president, Ken Hayes, was invited to talk about what his company is doing to help their client Hill International make Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Living Breakwaters on Staten Island (New York City) a reality.  Utilizing a 60 million dollar design budget, the goal of this project is to reduce wave action and coastal erosion along the island’s shoreline in the Tottenville section, while enhancing ecosystems and shoreline use and access.  Using a multilayered approach the project will address the most damaging effects of coastal flooding, improve aquatic biodiversity and engage the community through educational programs.

Aqua Survey will be providing sediment sampling and geophysical surveys for the project. Hayes, who just finished a three month Lunch & Learn Tour around the country, found it easier than normal to find the right words to explain Aqua Survey’s technical contribution to this life-saving project.  Hayes spoke to NY1 News while an ASI field team took sediment samples offshore.  The news team caught up with ASI’s boat crew to get a close-up look at their specialty vessel, sediment sampling equipment and geophysical survey tools.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to participate in today’s media event,” said Hayes, “the Living Breakwaters is an innovative project with some truly admirable goals. I’d like to thank Hill International and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for including us in the day’s events.”

Click here for the NY1 News video.

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Bombs in New York Harbor

Nov 20, 2014

Side Scan Sonar Unit

There is a lot of discussion as to whether New York City should dredge in Gravesend Bay, just south of where Aqua Survey documented the presence of a huge pile of unexploded ordnance (UXO). The UXO is right under the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Dredging needs to be performed to provide access to a proposed waste transfer station in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

We used Side Scan Sonar to define the UXO piles near the Verrazano Bridge.  Most believe the munitions came from a barge that broke loose from the aircraft carrier USS Bennington on March 4, 1954, more than five years before construction of the Verrazano-Narrows began.  The barge was reported to have lost 14,470 live rounds. 

It’s not the city’s only recent UXO discovery.  In 2012, a large, and potentially explosive, Rodman cannonball was found by construction workers during the revitalization of the Governor’s Island ferry terminal.  Aqua Survey was contracted to perform both landside and underwater surveys to lower the probability of construction activities accidentally detonating munitions. No additional cannonballs or other ordnance were found.

New York City is not alone. In 2008, dredging activities in the Miami River recovered several unexploded ordnance. 

Submerged, unexploded munitions are present in most countries.  Whether you are building a bridge in Cambodia, performing beach renourishment in Delaware or dredging in New York Harbor, UXO can pose a potential threat. Responsible parties are forced to decide what the proper risk mitigation measures are.  With new aquatic and land survey methods available, parties are able to make more informed choices.

You want to dredge or perform construction activities. How do you know if you have a potential UXO problem? First, research the history of your work site and surrounding areas.  If there is a history, or suspected history, of UXO at your site or nearby, it is advisable to perform a Side Scan Survey to look for UXO on or partially embedded in the bottom.  If you can identify UXO by Side Scan, you know you have a contaminated site.  However, if no UXO are identified with Side Scan, you would then use an Electromagnetic Induction Metal Detection (EM) system to identify ferrous and non-ferrous objects buried in the sediments. 

Always remember, no matter how diligent you are in performing historical research and using geophysical tools, there is always the possibility UXO that are present were not detected. The purpose of performing historical research and geophysical surveying is to greatly reduce the probability of detonating ordnance or inadvertently moving it to another location.

If you feel you may have UXO issues, please contact Ken Hayes at or call us at our main number 908-788-8700.

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2014 Sediment Symposium

Jun 03, 2014

The 2014 Sediment Symposium at the Liberty House Restaurant located in Jersey City goes down in the record books as one of the best events of the year!

Nine highly qualified speakers engaged the audience with the following topics:

• Alex Lechich, Author, A Storm in Port: Keeping the Port of New York and New Jersey Open speaking on the Historical Perspective of Sediment in the NY/NJ Harbor
• Steve Panter, Sr. Consultant, Fleming-Lee Shue, speaking on Exploratory & Graphical Data Analysis in Environmental Remediation
• Scott Douglas, New Jersey DOT, speaking on Superstorm Sandy Recovery
• Richard Beach, Sr. Principal Scientist, AMEC speaking on Site Specific PAH Bioavailability in Pore Water
• Marion Ravenscroft, Laos National Museum speaking on archeology in Laos
• Mark Padover, Lead Field Scientist, Aqua Survey, Inc. speaking on Explosive Contaminants
• Michael Lythcott, President of the Lythcott Company speaking on the Ritualistic Use of Mercury
• Matt Geary, Technical Sales Manager, CETCO speaking on the Use of Amendments to Remediate Contaminated Sediment
• Joe Mayo, Principal Scientist, CDM Smith speaking on the Investigation of Lead Contaminated Shoreline


• Richard Traver, CH2M Hill
• Eric Stern, Montclair State University
• Jon Doi, Aqua Survey, Inc.

Aqua Survey looks forward to the 2016 Sediment Symposium.

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Horned Scullies, Bombs & Treasure

Feb 20, 2014

Airborne Helocopter Mag Magnetometer Coastline Survey Shoreline

What is that?  What are they looking for?  Are they looking for bombs?  During the month of December a jet helicopter towing a 30-foot wide glider was watched by thousands of Florida’s Treasure Coast beach-goers.

The Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Pierce knew what our helicopter was doing as did several historic shipwreck enterprises.  Aqua Survey was using a new technology called a Potassium-Vapor Magnet Gradiometer to survey about 70 square miles of coastline and near-coastal waters for Horned Scullies, unexploded ordnance (bombs) and shipwrecks.

With our glider flying as low as 15 feet off the water, we surveyed approximately 70 square miles of ocean in only 20 days.  That’s not too difficult when you can survey at 50-60 miles per hour.

When compared to data Aqua Survey or other firms had collected using vessel-towed Cesium Magnetometers, the glider proved to be as effective as, or better than, waterborne systems when it came to pinpointing ferrous targets.

What would have taken years to complete on the water was accomplished in a fraction of the time with our new airborne survey solution. 

Watch the video here.

For a White Paper assessing Airborne Potassium-Vapor Magnetometer Glider use, please contact Ken Hayes at .

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A Floating Market, a King and a Father of Science and Technology

Jun 20, 2013

On a recent layover in Thailand to continue our work with UXO (unexploded ordnance) in Laos, a few of us at ASI seized the opportunity to venture outside of Bangkok for a day.  What we found was the Damnoenssaduak floating market.  Consisting of an intricate network of canals, it’s a writhing medley of commerce where everything from exotic fruits to touristy kitsch are hawked daily.

Named after a historical canal of the same name, the original Damnoenssaduak was constructed under the order of the King Mongkut.  Known to westerners as the obstinate king from The King and I, the real-life Mongkut was in many ways a much more nuanced character than portrayed in film.  His reign, from 1851 to 1868, was time of great change in Siam (modern-day Thailand).  As Siam was facing the increasing pressure of Western expansionism, Mongkut took measures to modernize his country both culturally and technologically while retaining its national identity.  During his lifetime he earned the nickname “Father of Science and Technology” and to this day he is revered by the people of Thailand.

Under his reign, modern medicine was brought to Siam and the country’s first non-government run newspaper was published.  Women’s rights were drastically improved and forced marriages were banned.  He introduced modern geography and commissioned a series of canals built throughout the country.  In a day when the main form of transportation was foot, the canals were a small revolution in transportation.

Being from a company that named one of their vessels after Nikola Tesla, the so-called “Godfather of the 20th Century”, it was easy to appreciate the innovations King Mongkut championed as he navigated his country through a tumultuous time in history.  After all, it’s largely due to the work of that other innovator, Tesla, that we were here sitting in the bottom of a small boat in the first place.  Without the technologies he championed, without his contributions to our collective understanding of electromagnetism, we would not be where we are today. 

Armed with refined versions of many of Tesla’s innovations, we are ready.  Ready to help entire countries rid themselves of their unexploded ordnance problems.  Ready to explore our Earth’s great oceans, uncovering secrets lost to time. 

Ready to march forward to a new and exciting tomorrow.

Ready to help and assist you. 

Whether it means helping you clear a waterway of UXO so you can begin construction on your bridge’s foundation or collecting core samples in New York Harbor and performing the necessary laboratory analyses needed to get you your dredging permit.
We are here to help you.

If you are ready, and would like Aqua Survey’s assistance, contact us today.

And if not, at least check out this video of our visit to the floating market.  In it you can watch Senior Environmental Scientist Don Nazario as he shops for a few souvenirs for his two daughters and haggles with the locals.

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