One of the most important infrastructure improvements in its history, “The Deep Dredge project is critical to the future growth of PortMiami which will be one of only three US Atlantic ports to be at the required minus 50 feet level in time to welcome the new generation of larger container cargo vessels arriving via the expanded Panama Canal,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
PortMiami Director Bill Johnson said that a deeper channel will provide ships with a more efficient, reliable and safe navigational route into PortMiami. “As the closest port to the Panama Canal, PortMiami is well positioned to capture new trade opportunities and the deeper channel will enable the Port to double its cargo traffic over the next several years.”
Johnson said that together with its state and federal partners, PortMiami is committed to upholding the highest environmental standards for the project. The dredge project includes the restoration of more than 16 acres (6.5 ha) of seagrass in northern Biscayne Bay and the creation of over nine acres of artificial reef. In order to minimise impact on existing resources, the Port’s mitigation measures include the relocation of hard coral colonies greater than 25 cm and those that are between 10 and 25 cm.
Additionally, divers will be in the water adjacent to the project twice a week to monitor natural resources for turbidity and sedimentation effects before, during and after all dredging activities ensuring the highest environmental protection monitoring protocols outside of a national marine sanctuary.