Aqua Survey

A modern-day treasure hunt in the Arthur Kill

Star Ledger photo/Aristide EconomopoulosBy Staten Island Advance

Could there be a fortune lurking beneath the Arthur Kill ?

In 1903 a barge listed in the channel while carrying nearly 8,000 silver bars belonging to the Guggenheim family.

The precious cargo spilled over the side.

Most of the bars were recovered, but it is believed about 1,400 of them -- worth $6,000 to $7,000 each -- are still scattered on the bottom of the busy shipping channel.

Now, Aqua Survey, a Hunterdon County-N.J. company that specializes in environmental research, is on the hunt for the remaining bars, according to a Star Ledger report.

Since the spring of 2006, it has used advanced technology to map the waters, and it believes it is close to a find.

It even has petitioned a federal judge for scavenger rights.