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

Chuanmin Hu huc at usf.edu
Mon Sep 15 14:43:52 EDT 2014

We are trying to use remote sensing to assess the post-dredging impact 
on turbidity. Here is a similar study on dredging impact on aquaculture:

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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