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The benthic community is made up of species that live on or in the sea bed, river, lake or stream bottoms. Benthic macroinvertebrates are commonly used as indicators of the general biological condition of waterbodies. Benthic surveys are one of the primary ways that scientists can assess the health of streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, and our coastal waters. Benthic surveys are often conducted to fulfill state permit requirements for industries that discharge treated or process waters into state waters, or as part of important baseline and post-construction monitoring of projects that impact these ecologically sensitive areas (i.e. bridge projects or dredging activity). Benthic surveys are also conducted in response to natural or man-made disasters (Deep Water Horizon, for example) to assess how benthic communities respond and recover from these events.


BVA has extensive experience conducting benthic surveys in the estuaries and coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. We own a variety of sampling gear (see list) of different sizes suitable for most benthic survey applications.


Grab Type - Sampling Area (m2)

3" Hand Core - 0.0044

4" Hand Core - 0.0079

Ekman Grab - 0.0225

Modified Van Veen Grab - 0.04

ShipEk Grab - 0.04

Standard Ponar Grab - 0.05

Box Corer - 0.09

Smith Mac Grab - 0.10


Contact Dr. Barry Vittor

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