Court Filings

Press Release 10-23-14

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10/23/14 federal court hearing press release
  Biscayne BayWaterkeeper Rachel Silverstein,Ph.D.Waterkeeper &Executive Director   8!8 #!  8  Tropical AudubonSociety $aura Re%nolsExecutive Director irector@tropicalau   #8 !'(!)*+ Captain DanKipnis captainankipnis@at !(+'!8')8 Miami-Dade Reef Guard Association ichael -. each,Ph.D.Presientin/o@ree/guar.org !S! Army Corps of n#ineers a#ree to mo$e corals and commit to reduce dama#e in t%e &ortMiami Deep Dred#e &ro'ect Corps struck an 11th hour deal to move threatened corals, and have agreed to use methods to reduce sedimentation and turbidity for the life of the project  Miami( )* +,ct! .( /012 – -ust a%s be/ore a hearing on an e0ergenc% in1unction against the Deep Drege pro1ect, the 2.S. 3r0% 4orps o/ Engineers put together an agree0ent with the 5ational arine 6isheries Service to 0ove 0ore than +77 threatene corals that are currentl% being har0e b% sei0entation in the Deep Drege pro1ect. ia0i!Dae Ree/ uar 3ssociation was the 0oving part% /or the in1unction,  1oine b% /ellow plainti//s isca%ne a% Waterkeeper, 4aptain Dan 9ipnis, an :ropical  3uubon Societ%. :he 4o0plaint against the 2.S. 3r0% 4orps o/ Engineers alleges violations o/ the Enangere Species 3ct ;ES3< relate to excessive sei0entation prouce uring reging!relateactivities the Portia0i pro1ect. “ =ur legal actions catal%>e the 3r0% 4orps to strike a last0inute eal with 56S to get the corals 0ove, ” sai Rachel Silverstein, Executive Director an Waterkeeper /or isca%ne a% Waterkeeper. “ ?n the /ace o/ the approaching hearing, an espite earl% resistance to pa%ing /or the relocation o/ the corals, even a/ter 56S issue e0ergenc% reco00enations asking that the corals be relocate i00eiatel%, the 3r0% 4orps /inall% agree to pa% over 77,777 to o the right the thing an protect our resources. ” ichael -. each, Presient o/ ia0i!Dae Ree/ uar 3ssociation, state, “ :his is a victor% /or 0% 0e0bers who ive regularl% on the ree/s near the reging. While it ’ s bittersweet because so 0uch a0age has alrea% been one an we ’ re losing a beauti/ul staghorn ree/ right o// o/ ia0i each, ? ’ 0 happ% that the 3r0% 4orps ha to The tips of a staghorn coral living near the deep dredge, mostly choked in sediment. (Photo by A. Palacio, P. Kushlan, R. Winter)  show up be/ore a /eeral court 1uge an co00it to o better /or the rest o/ the li/e o/ this pro1ect. ” :he co0plaint alleges that, since the pro1ect co00ence in 5ov. +7)(, the 3r0% 4orps has /aile to co0pl% with a nu0ber o/ ES3 reAuire0ents – to the etri0ent o/ valuable an threatene local 0arine species. 3ccoring to the co0plaint, the 3r0% 4orps was also well aware that a large nu0ber o/ staghorn coral colonies were living a1acent to the reging area. 5ow, these corals have been irreparabl% a0age an the re0ainingliving tissue 0ust be salvage in coral nurseries. “ :he 3r0% 4orps has continuall% chosen not to o the right thing an not to be stewarso/ ia0i ’ s natural resources while the% conuct this pro1ect, ” sai $aura Re%nols, Executive Director o/ the :ropical 3uubon Societ%. “ 5ow we ’ re having to step in an stop this a0age. Wh% shoul we continuall% have to worr% that the 6eeral govern0ent is not abiing b% 6eeral lawsB ” ia0i ’ s ree/s – an the /ish an 0arine li/e the% support – are critical to the survival o/ ia0i ’ s touris0, iving, /ishing, an sea/oo inustries, which are engines /or the local econo0%. “ :his action is not 1ust about the ia0i harbor expansion, but it ’ s also about having the public an the various state an /eeral agencies take note o/ thescale o/ this a0age, be/ore Port expansion per0its are grante /or pro1ects up an own 6loria ’ s precious coast, ” note 4aptain Dan 9ipnis, a veteran o/ 0ultiple actions against 3r0% 4orps pro1ects, “ ?t ’ s about stepping up an holing the 3r0% 4orps accountable. ”“With the Corps’ agreement to relocate the corals and reduce sedimentation we achieved the purpose of the Emergency Motion but t he rest o/ our suit is still ver% 0uch active an we plan to procee on the clai0s we have brought in the 4o0plaint against the 4orps, ” Silverstein sai.   About   Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper isca%ne a% Waterkeeper ;W9< is a non!pro/it organi>ation locate in ia0i, 6loria. $aunche in -anuar% +7)), our goal is to avocate /or the isca%ne a% watershe an its inhabitants, an to e0power citi>ens to A coral near the dredging activity with sediment brushed away, has died under the heavy sediment load.  e/en their right to swi00able, rinkable, /ishable water. =ur role is to ensure that isca%ne a% re0ains clean an vibrant to serve the nees o/ both hu0ans an willi/e /or generations to co0e. 6or 0ore in/or0ation, please visit About Tropical Audubon Society :he :ropical 3uubon Societ% ;:3S< is a non!pro/it organi>ation locate in ia0i, 6loria establishe in )*#, previous 3uubon 4hapters have been operating in ia0i!Dae /or the last )77 %ears an this conservation group is the longest running environ0ental organi>ation in ia0i!Dae 4ount%. :heir 0ission is to conserve an restore South 6loria ’ s ecos%ste0s, /ocusing on birs, other willi/e an their habitats /or the bene/it o/ hu0anit% an the earth ’ s biological iversit%. 3s a /ouning 0e0ber o/ the Everglaes 4oalition, Col the $ine 4oalition an the isca%ne a% 4oalition, 3uubon strives to activate grassroots action, eucate the public on the environ0ent an create action to achieve conservation ob1ectives in South 6loria. 6or 0ore in/or0ation an to get involve please visit www.tropicalau or call us at (7'! #!#((# About Miami-Dade Reef Guard ia0i!Dae Ree/ uar 3ssociation ; “ Ree/guar ” < is a 6loria not!/or!pro/it corporation. ?ts 0ission is the protection o/ natural ree/s o// the coast o/ ia0i!Dae 4ount% an to provie collective assistance in the pro0otion, /uning an organi>ing o/ resources /or the installation an 0aintenance o/ 0ooring buo%s on the ree/s a1acent to ia0i!Dae 4ount%. Ree/guar pro0otes an supports both arti/icial ree/ eplo%0ent an natural ree/ conservation in the a1acent sea areas. 3s an avocate /or protection an conservation o/ the 4ount% ’ s ree/s, Ree/guar seeks to 0itigate threats to the ree/s. ?t encourages an inspires citi>ens to boat anscuba ive responsibl%.
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