The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announces a draft environmental assessment and proposed finding of no significant impact for the operation and maintenance dredging and dredged material placement for the Miami Harbor Navigation Project inner harbor, Miami-Dade County.
The draft information is available for public, state and agency review and comment starting today, July 18, and ending Aug. 19, 2019. The Corps will include the comments received, as well as a summary matrix of the comments and Corps responses, in Appendix B of the final assessment.
The purpose of harbor dredging maintenance is to enable safe and efficient vessel navigation through federal channels. The accumulation of sediment, commonly referred to as shoaling, in the harbor has reduced depths and widths, hindering safe and efficient navigation. Periodic dredging is required to remove these sediments and maintain the channel at its federally authorized dimensions.
The Corps surveyed existing conditions and considered the current maintenance needs, if any. Based on survey results, the Corps concludes that only the inner harbor cuts of the Miami Harbor project warrant maintenance dredging at this time. The Preferred Alternative consists of dredging approximately 100,000 cubic yards of shoaled material from within the inner harbor to maintain authorized dimensions. Dredged material will be placed in the Miami Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site.
The maintenance event is expected to include the inner harbor cuts and associated National Environmental Policy Act documentation is expected to take into account new available information relevant to effects associated with dredging the outer channel, including recent sediment tracer analyses conducted in the area. Because the current maintenance event only addresses the inner channel cuts, the scope of work avoids dredging within 1,000 feet of the outer channel, minimizing potential adverse effects to corals and hardbottom habitats to the maximum extent practicable. The Corps continues to review the new information.
Details on the Preferred Alternative can be found in the draft environmental assessment (EA). The draft EA, associated appendices, and proposed finding of no significant impact are available for review at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/About/Divisions-Offices/Planning/Environmental-Branch/Environmental-Documents/. Click on the “+” next to “Dade” and scroll down to the project name.
Interested parties can submit questions or comments via email to CESAJ-MiamiHarbor@usace.army.mil or by letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: Coastal Environmental Branch, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019.