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Faulty Corps ‘Fact’ Sheet On Port Everglades Dredge Drawing Fire

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Dan Burdeno
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Miami Waterkeep
Diver Dan Burdeno photographed these staghorn coral in February about 2,500 feet from the Port Everglades channel. Environmentalists worry a survey of coral that could be damaged by a dredging project overlooked these colonies.

In advance of a $374 million dredging project at Port Everglades, the U.S. Corps of Engineers published a fact sheet last month to help the public understand the work and risks posed to coral and other marine life.

But it turns out some answers in the Frequently Asked Questions section were wrong or incomplete. A photograph reportedly showing healthy coral after the PortMiami dredge was actually taken six months before dredging started. And a description of the Corps’ efforts in Miami, which it plans on replicating in Fort Lauderdale, said the agency followed environmental rules. But during the work in Miami, the Corps was repeatedly warned by federal and state wildlife agencies that dredging the port had killed far more coral than allowed under a permit and needed to be corrected.

After Miami Waterkeeper — which threatened to sue to get the Corps to revise its assessment of potential damage — complained, the Corps removed the FAQ.

But the agency never alerted the public about the mistake and, with a public comment period slated to end Monday, Miami Waterkeeper says time is running out to provide a clear understanding of how the Port Everglades dredge could impact marine life in and around the busy channel.

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald