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Title: Final Environmental Impact Statement, Port Everglades Harbor Navigation Study, Broward County, Florida
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Keywords: Dredging
Environmental impact analysis
Inland navigation
Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Abstract: The Port Everglades Feasibility Study is authorized through House Document 126, 103rd Congress, 1st Session, and House Document 144, 93rd Congress, 1st Session and by a resolution of the House Committee on Transportation dated May 9, 1996. The feasibility study was initiated in 2001 with the non-federal sponsor, Broward County Department of Port Everglades. The existing federal channel project depth of 42 feet at Port Everglades does not provide an adequate, safe depth for large tankers and container ships currently visiting the harbor. Furthermore, the next generation of container ships and oil tankers requires significantly more channel depth to operate efficiently. Finally, a wider and deeper outer entrance channel will greatly improve the safety of navigation. The primary objectives for the project considered in the Port Everglades Feasibility Study are to (1) decrease costs associated with vessel delays from congestion, channel passing restrictions, and berth deficiencies at Port Everglades, (2) decrease transportation costs through increasing economies of scale for cargo and petroleum vessels at Port Everglades, and (3) increase channel safety and maneuverability at Port Everglades for existing vessel use as well as for larger vessels, through the year 2073. USACE proposes to deepen the Outer Entrance Channel (OEC) to an authorized depth of -48 feet MLLW (resulting in an actual depth of 57 feet, which includes overdredge and safety requirements), widen it to 800 feet on the seaward end, and extend it 2,200 feet seaward; deepen the Inner Entrance Channel (IEC) to 48 feet (50-foot actual); deepen the Main Turning Basin (MTB) to 48 feet (50-foot actual); widen the rectangular shoal region to the southeast of the MTB by about 300 feet and deepen to 48 feet (50-foot actual); widen the Southport Access Channel (SAC) in the proximity of berths 23 to 26 by about 250 feet and reconfigure the USCG facility to the east; shift the existing 400-foot wide SAC about 65 feet to the east from approximately berth 26 to the south end of berth 29 to provide a transition back to the existing federal channel limits; deepen the SAC from about berth 23 to the south end of berth 32 to 48 feet (50-foot actual); deepen the Turning Notch (TN) (following local-sponsordredging of same area to 42 feet) to 48 feet (50-foot actual) with an additional 100-foot north-south widening parallel to the SAC on the eastern edge of the SAC over a length of about 1,845 feet; widen the western edge of the SAC for access to the TN from the existing federal channel edge near the south end of berth 29 to a width of about 130 feet at the north edge of the TN; and provide compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacted to certain resources. “Pre-treatment” (breaking, prior to removal) of rock substrates may be necessary. Appropriate measures to safeguard protected species during this process will be undertaken. Dredge disposal will occur at the existing ODMDS and within the expanded ODMDS, if the site is designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To compensate for the effects of the action on various habitat types, USACE has proposed to mitigate for the removal of approximately 4.21 acres of vegetated seagrass habitat and the loss of approximately 1.16 acres of mangroves in the project footprint through use of mitigation “functional units” at an on-going habitat improvement project at adjacent West Lake Park, a Broward County operated, state-owned, natural area. In addition, USACE will mitigate for the direct removal of approximately 14.62 acres and the potential indirect damage to 0.71 acre of hardbottom and reef habitats through the creation of approximately five acres of boulder-reefs, on approximately two acres of which corals transplanted from the impact area will be installed. In addition, approximately 18 acres of hardbottom and reef habitats will be enhanced using over 103,000 coral colonies outplanted from nurseries. Additional mitigation will be provided due to any incidental direct or indirect impacts of dredging equipment and indirect impacts on hardbottom habitats due to any discernable effects of sedimentation.
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