Archeologists from AmaTerra Environmental, Inc. (AmaTerra) and Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc. (SEARCH; collectively the Team) conducted intensive underwater archeological remote sensing survey on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on a proposed dredge spoil expansion area south of the Bolivar Peninsula at the mouth of Galveston Bay, Galveston County, Texas. The survey was required for compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, due to dredge permits to be issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Antiquities Code of Texas, due to its location on lands owned by a political subdivision of the State of Texas (the Texas General Land Office). Completed under Antiquities Permit 6272, the survey area includes the 51-acre dredge spoil expansion footprint and the original 16-acre dredge spoil pile (67 acres total). The archeologists utilized towed marine magnetometer and side-scan sonar survey along 12 parallel, 20-meter-interval transects to assess the full archeological Area of Potential Effects. The survey area was found to be littered with isolated modern metallic debris. Side-scan sonar imagery revealed a submerged surface that was generally flat with no indications of shipwrecks and a large oyster reef along the southwestern quarter. One large metallic feature located within the survey area (Anomaly M1) was identified as a fallen modern navigational sighting marker tower. None of the archeological survey data, sensor readings, or imagery from the proposed expansion area is consistent with expected signatures of historic-age shipwrecks. Archeologists did re-identify the previously-documented magnetic anomaly M44 that was recommended for avoidance or testing within the original dredge pile area. If the avoidance zone continues to be observed, it will not be impacted by the current undertaking. As such, the project is recommended to proceed with no Historic Properties, State Archeological Landmarks, or archeological sites impacted in accordance with guidelines outlined in 36 CFR 800 and 13 TAC 26. No sites were identified and no artifacts were collected during the course of the survey. Accordingly, all project-generated notes, forms, and other materials will be permanently curated at AmaTerra’s office in Austin, Texas and SEARCH’s office in Pensacola, Florida.
This is a work for hire produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which owns all rights, title, and interest in and to all data and other information developed for this project under its contract with the report producer. The report may be cited and brief passages from this publication may be reproduced without permission provided that credit is given to TxDOT and the firm that produced it. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701
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