Posted by: reefrescue | January 23, 2012

Palm Beach Reef Damage Update

Photo by Brian Clark

On January 11, dive boat Narcosis discovered an area of recently damaged reef just south of the Port of Palm Beach. Damage to the South Double Ledges Reef was observed to be about 5 feet wide by 300 feet long and appeared to have been caused by a freighter anchor drag. South Double Ledges is located approximately 1000 feet from a designated anchorage area used by freighters waiting to use the Port of Palm Beach.

Reef Rescue immediately forwarded the report with photos (taken by Brian Clark) to the FDEP Reef Injury Prevention and Response (RIPR) team. As of today FDEP reports: ”At this time FDEP Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) has been working with the USCG in attempting to identify the responsible party. Since the exact date the injury was created is unknown, this is difficult to determine. Additionally, CRCP has collaborated with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Palm Beach Environmental Resource Management to assist us in a damage assessment in early February.”

Under the 2009 Florida Coral Reef Protection Act the responsible party is liable for penalties in the amount of $1,000.00 per square meter, plus monitoring and restoration costs. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Jena Sansgaard RIPR Coordinator at 305-795-2167 or Jena.Sansgaard@dep.state.fl.us. To report any coral reef resource injuries within Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, & Martin counties, call 786-385-3054.

See local News coverage at: http://www.cbs12.com/video/c/1143359274/local-news/1387313528001/wpec-localnews

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