[Coral-List] Miami 'Deep Dredge' Coral Health and Bleaching Report

Ian Zink izink at rsmas.miami.edu
Mon Sep 15 14:28:50 EDT 2014



The dredging project, along with its various impacts to local marine 
life (including various types of corals) has been an ongoing issue of 
contention.  The state of florida has repeatedly contacted the USACE 
regarding their sub-standard methods, lack of reporting of critical 
incidents, where spoils have been placed, etc etc....see 2 examples above.

On 9/15/2014 1:19 PM, Will Nuckols wrote:
> Is there a max turbidity level associated with the dredge permit? Have they exceeded it? Is it being monitored closely enough/frequent enough? Is the level allowed for turbidity allowed too high based on your findings? Has the USACE district, division or HQ been alerted to these findings?
> Looking forward to your reply
> Will Nuckols
> Sent from a mobile device. Please excuse typos.
>> On Sep 15, 2014, at 12:09 PM, Coral Morphologic<coralmorphologic at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> A combination of hot weather and sunny days in summer 2014 has resulted in
>> very a bad year for coral bleaching in South Florida. Recently, we surveyed
>> the natural reef ('first reef tract') just offshore Fisher Island here in
>> Miami. Unfortunately, the water has been kept exceptionally silty from the
>> Army Corps’ ongoing dredging of nearby Government Cut. The water is 10-15
>> feet deep here, and nearly all of the coral heads on the reef were
>> bleached. However, the most alarming thing we observed, was the prevalence
>> of black band disease infecting many of the brain corals. As evidenced from
>> the video, the dredge silt has settled on the corals, and seems a likely a
>> culprit in causing this disease outbreak. Prior to this summer, we have
>> never observed BBD as prevalently on Miami's corals. Currently, the dredge
>> ships are operating just outside the mouth of Government Cut jetties,
>> resulting in plumes of silt that smother corals on the natural reefs in
>> every direction.
>> See the video of the bleached and diseased corals here:
>> http://coralmorphologic.com/b/2014/09/14/miami-coral-bleaching-report-september-7-2014
>> Fortunately, the water temperatures have steadily decreased since the start
>> of September, so we are hopeful that the bleached corals throughout South
>> Florida will begin to recover soon. However, up here in Miami with the Deep
>> Dredge ongoing, our corals may be too stressed out, diseased, or smothered
>> to survive. We will be monitoring the situation closely, and will continue
>> to update as necessary.
>> Cheers,
>> Colin Foord
>> Co-Founder Coral Morphologic
>> www.coralmorphologic.com
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