Environment
4:08 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Florida Inspectors Say Miami Port Dredging Hurts Sea Life

Divers inspect boulders dropped near the channel coral. They were intended to allow new coral to grow, but inspectors found many crushed existing coral.
Credit Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The $205 million dredge project to deepen PortMiami has spread a blanket of silt and clay over the bay bottom that is smothering coral and damaging sea life, state environmental inspectors have found.

In a letter Monday, the state Department of Environmental Protection warned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is managing the project, that work is violating state permits, churning up too much sediment and having a “profound effect” on the sea floor. The agency gave the Corps two weeks to respond.

“A fast response to this issue may minimize long-lasting impacts,” an inspection concluded.

The warning follows a similar complaint last month from the Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper watchdog group, which threatened to sue in September unless work is cleaned up.

Read the entire story on MiamiHerald.com