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Title: Final Environmental Impact Statement, Port Everglades Harbor Navigation Study, Broward County, Florida : EIS Sub-Appendix D, Natural Resource Reports : D-3, Acropora Survey, D-4, Seagrass Surveys
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Keywords: Dredging
Inland navigation
Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Abstract: Dial Cordy and Associates Inc. was contracted by the Jacksonville District, Corps of Engineers, under contract W912HN-05-D-0014 Task Order CS10 to survey for acroporid corals in the vicinity of the indirect and direct impact areas for the Port Everglades Feasibility Study. This survey and report was conducted in support of consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Two scleractinian corals, elkhorn coral (Acropora palmate) and staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis), were listed as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, as amended on 9 May 2006. A critical habitat rule for these two species became effective on 26 December 2008. Four areas within the coastal United States were proposed as critical habitat units, including Florida (3,442 square kilometers), Puerto Rico (3,582 square kilometers), St Thomas/St. John (313 square kilometers), and St. Croix (326 square kilometers, for a total of 7,663 square kilometers). Critical habitat consists of “Primary Constituent Elements”, for Acroporid species, this includes “consolidated hardbottom or dead coral skeleton that is free from fleshy macroalgae cover and sediment cover” (Federal Register November 26, 2008), including habitats from mean high water (MHW) to 30m depth. Port Everglades, Florida is currently planning a deepening and widening of the federal entrance channel, which is one of the 13 federal channels within Acropora critical habitat. Acropora critical habitat includes the first, second, and third reefs in the vicinity of Port Everglades down to a depth of 30m; although, Acropora has not been documented on either the second or third reefs in the Port’s vicinity. The Port Everglades’ proposed deepening and widening is anticipated to directly impact 15.35 acres and indirectly impact 91.29 acres (150m buffer) of the first, second, and third reefs. Acropora cervicornis colonies are known to exist in the vicinity of Port Everglades, 2,780 feet (848m) to the south of the Port entrance channel, on the near shore hardbottom, and 1,400 feet (427m) north on the first reef (this study, NOVA 2008). These locations are outside the indirect impact assessment area for the Port Everglades’ expansion project. As of the writing of this document, no colonies of A. palmata have been documented within the vicinity of the existing channel. To date, no A.cervicornis have been identified within the direct or indirect impact areas within the proposed Project area (Dial Cordy 2009). The Port Everglades Acropora survey area includes the direct and indirect impact areas out to 150m from the existing channel from the jetty to the third reef (Figure 1).
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