Miami Deep Dredge: Environmentalists Win Court Battle but Not War as Blasting Continues

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“Silverstein said that even bringing the Corps to the bargaining table was a victory.

“I’m proud and impressed that a tiny organization like us or the other plaintiffs can call on the Army Corps of Engineers, this behemoth of bureaucracy, and they have to appear down here and be held accountable,” she said, adding that the agreement was “an amazing outcome.”

NOAA Warns of "Rapid Deterioration" of Endangered Corals Due to Deep Dredge Sludge

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Nonetheless, the NOAA report is “a very big deal,” says Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, another environmental group against the dredge.

“This is confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along,” she says. “It’s bittersweet for us because it confirms that our reefs have really been devastated because of the project. That’s not easy to hear but hopefully it does spur the Corps to action to actually do something to help the corals before it’s too late.”

Feds say ‘nurseries’ could save Government Cut coral

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In the meantime, a lawsuit threatened by the Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper environmental group and captain Dan Kipnis still looms. The group’s attorney, Jim Porter, said Wednesday they are keeping an eye on talks.

“We want give DEP and [NOAA] and the Corps every chance to get this worked out,” he said. “But if they’re unable to do so, then we’re prepared to go forward.”

Environmentalists renew criticism of Miami dredging

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“Our goal is not to stop the dredging but to ensure that the environment is protected and that everyone follows the rules set out when the project was started, and that’s not happening,” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper.

“So far, it seems the agencies are focused on trying to remedy the damage that’s been caused rather than prevent future damage,” Silverstein said.

Environmentalists ready to sue over Miami port's deep dredge

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Environmentalists said on Thursday they are prepared to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after researchers found dredging to deepen the port of Miami is burying coral and could destroy the surrounding marine ecosystem for years to come.

“All we’re asking for is that they follow state and federal law and they’re simply not doing that,” said Rachel Silverstein, executive director of the Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, a local environmental advocacy group.

Miami port dredging damaging sea life, state inspectors say

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“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…

Inspectors also discovered that large boulders placed in the channel to provide places for young coral to grow as part of a mitigation effort had crushed existing coral and sponges when they were dropped.

An artificial reef created to hold coral transplanted from the channel was dusted with a layer of sediment. Water had become so thick with silt and clay that it created “anoxic conditions” in which very little oxygen reached the bay bottom.”

Environmental Group Threatens To Sue Army Corps Of Engineers About Dredging Near Corals

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“It’s extremely unique to have these corals so close to an urban area like Miami,” says Silverstein. “They’re coastline protection that’s critical for the city, especially with all the flooding in Miami.”

Researchers Race to Save Coral in Miami

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‘“They were allowed to go out and see what was left over,” said Rachel Silverstein, the executive director of Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, which brought the original lawsuit to protect corals in Government Cut. “We realized that there is a lot still there. And we realized how much the permit was missing in terms of mitigation and how much reef will be destroyed by this dredging.”’

An Underwater Race To Transplant Miami's Rare Corals

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“A lab just off Florida’s Miami River has become the base for an unusual lifesaving operation.

A group of scientists there is on an urgent mission to save as many corals as it can before the marine creatures are destroyed as part of an underwater excavation of Miami’s shipping channel. The channel — set to be dredged and deepened on Saturday — is home to a thriving coral reef.”

Fight over a Fla. sewer pipe raises national financial and health issue

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“Nondescript as it is, the pipe is at the center of one of the biggest fights over climate change in the country. It carries millions of tons of partially treated sewage daily — after it is piped underwater from Miami Beach — miles out to the ocean. Environmentalists fear a direct hit from a strong storm could knock out the plant and the pipe for long periods of time, sending raw sewage into Biscayne Bay.

“It could be much worse than Hurricane Sandy. If you had billions of gallons pouring into the waters, it would be a catastrophe, a calamity,” said Albert Slap, an attorney supporting Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, an advocacy group.

In addition to public health threats, there could be long-lasting effects on the ecosystem, he said. Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper’s supporters also expressed concerns about the liquid chlorine that is stored at the plant.”

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