Posted by: reefrescue | April 7, 2011

More on the Hillsboro silt-screen

Letters to the Editor

Posted on 07 April 2011 by ObserverNews

Hillsboro/Deerfield dredging

Dear Editor:

So now it has come to light that Deerfield Beach has sacrificed our beautiful coral reef off our beach for the sake of beach renourishment for our neighbor, Hillsboro Beach.

This is not the first time this contractor has been in this kind of trouble. An easy search can find several instances where this contractor has either damaged coral reefs or exceeded allowable turbidity levels which severely damage reef and fish populations.

Where is our Chamber of Commerce on this issue? Just check with the local dive shops and you will get an understanding of how important this very accessible reef is to our city. This reef used to provide a great snorkel dive for divers with minimal experience who can’t afford a trip offshore to the other sites in the water off our beach.

This was one of the exact reasons I chose to run for office in this city because I do not believe our elected officials have any idea about how to protect the health of our city’s environment.

Last weekend, March 27, I took water samples inside Boca Inlet, which were significantly affected by the dredging and measured levels that far from the dredge at 20 percent above the allowable levels which are to be measured about 150 meters from the dredge site. If a violation still was present miles from the dredge site, the levels near our reef were off the chart!

It’s important that we follow through with Florida Department of Environmental Regulations to make sure the dredge contractor is held accountable for the high levels of turbidity, the permit violations, and the mitigation and restoration necessary after their negative impact to our reef.

Our elected officials and hired Managers of this City should meet with DEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to make sure this contractor does not leave town without being held fully accountable for the damage that has been done.

This is just another example of the City of Deerfield Beach cutting another bad deal. This reef has been an important part of our economy for as long as I have known of Deerfield Beach. Too bad no one in City Hall understands this.

Next time, remember these kinds of things and let’s change the representation we have in City Hall until we get a group that “Gets it!”

Ron Coddington

Deerfield Beach



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