Meagan K. Flier

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2013


On May 03, 2012 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received an application from the Port of Miami for the modification of its previous 2006 permit so that it might further dredge its berths and the navigation channels. The modification for the Port to expand its facilities is a response to the ever-expanding maritime world trade, specifically the expansion of the Panama Canal. Located on Dodge Island, the Port is surrounded by the richly abundant ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. Though dredging is needed in order to accommodate super post-Panamax vessels and compete on a global and nationwide level for maritime trade, deepening the Port’s channels also holds great potential to severely alter the Biscayne Bay ecosystem, as evident by the many environmental groups that have openly opposed the project. To offset the environmental degradation caused by coastal developments, the Corps was charged with balancing the nation’s need for expansion with its ecosystem health. While the Corps has the authority to deny projects that adversely affect environmental resources, it must work within the language of the law. For the Port’s dredging project, the question remains whether the dredge can be completed without permanently adversely affecting the aquatic resources within the Bay or if the multiple uses of the Bay are so conflicting as to preclude any resemblance to a symbiotic relationship or compromise. This report strives to answer the aforementioned issues by understanding the motivating factors behind the Port’s expansion, the various stakeholder claims to Biscayne Bay, and the Corps’ role in balancing each factor to ensure the most sustainable outcome.


Department: MAF

MP Track: CZM

Location: US Army Corps of Engineers

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