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Port Dredging Project Draws Legal Challenge

Port Everglades
Jpkolo via wikimedia commons

Environmental groups are banding in opposition to an Army Corps of Engineers dredging project in south Florida.  They say the expansion of Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades could harm federally protected coral.

The Army Corps of Engineers is planning to dredge the entrance to Port Everglades to allow larger ships entry.  But Miami Waterkeeper Rachel Silverstein says silt from a similar project in Port Miami devastated local reefs, and the Corps isn’t taking that into account on the new project.

“We have all of this new information from the Port of Miami about how severe the impacts are likely to be at Port Everglades,” she says, “and the agencies have completely ignored the lessons from Port Miami.”

Silverstein’s organization is joining a number of other environmental non-profits and a local dive shop in a court challenge.  They’re asking a judge to block the project until the Corps develops a better plan for protecting nearby coral beds.