Posted by: reefrescue | March 26, 2014

Violation of the Endangered Species Act?

Is this a violation of the Endangered Species Act?
We think it may be and we need your help!


This mile long turbidity (silt) plume is emanating from the N. Boca beach renourishment project. It is worse than it looks, because the dredge stopped pumping the day before the photo was taken. The dredge left the construction site due of rough weather. But the plume persists with less than 10% of the project completed, because the sand that was pumped is full of silt and is not beach compatible (as required by FDEP).

This area has been designated as “critical habitat” for the survival of Acropora corals (elkhorn and staghorn) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Staghorn coral populations have been documented on the near-shore reefs, from the project area south to the Boca Raton Inlet.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has determined silt/sediment is a major threat to the survival of these corals ( The silt in this area, from this project, not only has the potential to smother existing corals, but siltation of the hardbottom renders the reef substrate unsuitable for larval coral recruitment/settlement.

This project was permitted because NOAA/NMFS accepted the Army Corp of Engineers determination that “there is no hardbottom within the project footprint…”  This means there is no Acropora habitat  features within the area to be buried or impacted by the project based on the presumption the project is performed in accordance with the permit requirements.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly evident the project is not performing within the permit requirements and silt is spreading beyond the limited area of the project’s anticipated footprint.

Here’s what we need from you: DOCUMENTATION.

If you can get photos of silted up staghorn and nearshore reef hardbottom we can take that information to the fed’s and hopefully get some relief. Don’t Except Protection (DEP) from the State of Florida, only the federal government will step up to protect these endangered corals.

Send you photos to Reef Rescue with GPS coordinates. If you have questions or need direction call us: 561 699-8559


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