(CNS): Over 80% of coral reefs near to the area of large-scale dredging at Miami’s port were damaged by sediment, despite a plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to minimise the damage, a new report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has found. The revelation will fuel fears in Cayman that the planned direct destruction of reefs in the dredging footprint for the proposed cruise berthing facilities in George Town will only be a fraction of the loss, as much more of the reefs will be killed by sediment.
The report found that as much as 81% of the reef near the dredging site was buried in sediment, and up to 93% of the partial coral death was due to sediment, regardless of mitigating features that were meant to minimise the damage.
Environmentalists said that this shows the sediment spread much further than anticipated from the dredge site in Miami. Underwater monitors to measure the sediment also failed to work, according to the report.
See New York Times report: Dredging of Miami Port Badly Damaged Coral Reef, Study Finds