Legal Advocacy updates, Shop for a Cause, and more!

Delivered: March 2017

We’ve had a busy March!

  • Our supporters (like you!) submitted over 10,000 comments asking for stronger reef protections in the Port Everglades expansion project.
  • We’ve exposed the Army Corps for distributing “alternative facts” to the public in both Port Miami and Port Everglades.
  • We’ve helped get the ball rolling on a plastic grocery bag ban in Coral Gables to reduce marine debris.
  • And we got to hang out with Phillippe Cousteau, Jr. on World Water Day by collecting water quality samples with local schools at the Biscayne Nature Center!

FPL Receives License to Operate Nuclear Reactors for Unprecedented 80 years despite Miami Waterkeeper's legal challenge

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission rubberstamped FPL's application for Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant's subsequent license renewal today. Miami Waterkeeper and co-plaintiffs, Friends of the Earth and Natural Resources Defense Council, initiated a legal challenge on this proposed license renewal in August 2018. The matter is still on appeal before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, the NRC issued a decision today that would provide a license to FPL to continue operating the reactors until the 2050s -- giving them an unprecedented 80-year life span and making them the oldest nuclear reactors in the world. 

Image result for turkey point cooling canals

Photo Credit: Southern Alliance for Clean Energy


Status Report Issued on Miami-Dade County Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Under Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department's federally-mandated Consent Decree agreement with the U.S. EPA and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, they are required to issue periodic status reports. The 11th status report was recently released and covers the period of January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. 


Army Corps finds No Significant Impact in PortMiami Channel Maintenance Dredging. We Disagree.

Earlier this summer, the Army Corps of Engineers announced they would be undertaking some routine maintenance dredging in the PortMiami shipping channel. This maintenance dredging is anticipated to last 45 days and would include dredging 24 hours a day. Miami Waterkeeper believes that this activity would produce a significant volume of sediment that could adversely impact benthic resources like seagrasses and corals. 

In July, the Corps released a Draft Environmental Assessment which found that there would be "no significant impact" for this dredging activity. We disagree.

Miami Waterkeeper and the Center for Biological Diversity submitted comments to rebut this finding. 


The Coral Gables Community Foundation Awards Grants to 28 Local Organizations

The Coral Gables Community Foundation Awards Grants to 28 Local Organizations

The Coral Gables Community Foundation has awarded grants to 28 deserving local non-profit organizations in its latest distribution to support issues within the Foundation's focus areas: education, arts & culture, historic preservation and social & health services.


Waterkeepers Florida Provides Final Comments to FDEP for Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

Miami Waterkeeper, as part of Waterkeepers Florida, jointly provided final comments to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) on the proposed revisions to Florida’s surface water quality standards. The proposed revisions included changes to the turbidity criterion, in all waters as well as in areas where coastal construction projects like dredging may affect corals and seagrass. The proposed changes also included revisions to the Numeric Nutrient Criteria and thresholds for cyanotoxins in recreational water.


Miami Waterkeeper and Partners Submit Comments on Army Corps Back Bay Study

Matheson Hammock Park experiencing continued inundation (2019)

Miami Waterkeeper, in collaboration with Catalyst Miami and the Miami Foundation, recently provided comments to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on the Miami-Dade County “Back Bay” Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. The study, designed to achieve improved resiliency from storm surge, targets flood-prone areas of Miami such as Little River and the Miami River, Cutler Bay, Arch Creek, and Aventura. Proposals for the project include building flood gates, floodwalls, and surge barriers, along with possible elevation of property and relocation. You can view the public meeting package of documents here. In our comments, we addressed concerns and made recommendations that asked the USACE for greater focus, definition, and expansion of the project's scope and objectives. 


Rule Revisions to Endangered Species Act Finalized

On August 12, 2019, the EPA published revised rules and regulations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These finalized changes have serious implications for the Endangered Species Act as we know it. The changes revise the procedures and criteria used for listing or removing species from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants and designating critical habitats. Specifically, the changes remove the Blanket Rule for FWS threatened species. Historically, this rule extended the same protection that the ESA affords endangered species automatically to threatened species as well. This rule revision would make those protections only available on a case by case basis to specific species. Other rule changes could have cascading impacts as well, including new and shorter timelines for reports and the ability of the agencies to consider economic impacts when making listing decisions.

Photo credit: Evan D'Alessandro

 


Miami Waterkeeper Receives Perez Family Foundation Grant

We are excited to announce that Miami Waterkeeper has been selected as a grant recipient by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation. The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation is the philanthropic vision of Jorge M. Pérez, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, and his family, is to develop South Florida as an exemplary world-class urban center.


Port Everglades Dredging Project Construction Delayed until April 2021

On October 1, 2019, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that construction for the Port Everglades Dredging Project Construction will now be delayed until April 2021.

Photo: Google Earth

 


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