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Title: Miami Harbor Phase III, Federal Channel Expansion Project, Permit No. 0305721-001-BI : Impact Assessment for Hardbottom Middle and Outer Reef Benthic Communities at Cross Sites
Authors: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Keywords: Port of Miami (Fla.)
Publisher: United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Jacksonville District.
Abstract: The Miami Harbor Phase III Deepening Project (Project) expanded the outer entrance channel to increase safe access to the Port Miami by larger class ships, including post-Panamax class ships. To accommodate these larger vessels, the outer entrance channel was widened at the outer reef and deepened to 52 (±1) feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) (15.6 ± 0.3 m). Pre-construction avoidance and minimization of impacts to natural resources was conducted through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and a Record of Decision was signed on May 22, 2006. The entire construction project was completed on September 17, 2015. The one-year post-construction impact assessment report contained herein used theFlorida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)/ National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recommended cross transect method (referred to as impact assessment throughout this report) to determine the permanence (persistence), extent (acreage) and level of severity (functional degradation/loss) or project related sedimentation impacts, if any. The project was permitted through the FDEP, under Permit No. 0305721-001-BI. Permit conditions provided methods on environmental monitoring required before, during, and after dredging activities. The FDEP permit stated in Specific Condition 32 a ii. d: “Impacted areas shall continue to be monitored monthly during the construction, one month post-construction, and two times during the next year in order to document results of the impact. Final monitoring results shall document permanent impacts, if any, to be used for estimates of additional mitigation using UMAM.” This report documents the second of two monitoring efforts in the one-year post-construction period. More specifically, this report documents the effects of the project on benthic resources within both permanent and non-permanent monitoring sites at increasing distances from the channel edge on hardbottom middle and outer reefs adjacent to the outer entrance channel. In coordination with FDEP and NMFS, a total of 57 sites throughout the hardbottom, middle, and outer reefs were recommended by both FDEP and NMFS for monitoring, with an additional 11 sites added by NMFS as areas of potential concern. Due to time and budgetary constraints, and in coordination with the agencies, only 54 of the combined recommended 68 sites were surveyed. Those sites not surveyed included the 7 NMFS recommended sites at R2N-1050-RR, R2S-500 through R2S2200, NSHB North 7a-75 and NSHB South HBS3. R3N1-75 was eliminated because of potential overlap between R3N1-LR and R3N1-100-LR. R2N-50-RR and R2N-100-RR were combined for a site at R2N-75-RR and R2N-50-LR and R2N-100-LR were combined for a site at R2N-75-LR. See Figure 1 for all sites surveyed. Sites selected by FDEP and NMFS were sites with the greatest sedimentation related effects according to construction and post-construction period impact assessment surveys (DCA 2014b, DCA 2015c, d, Miller et al. 2016).
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