Tag Archives: diving

Florida Department of Environmental Protection turn blind eye to destruction of reefs… again.

29 Mar

Collusion, corruption, incompetence, complicity, ineptitude or just a party to outright fraud? Why will the Florida Department of Environmental Protection not enforce the permits they issue?

Another beach “renourishment” project and more bogus data as the contractors circumvent project mandated environmental permit monitoring and the FDEP turns a blind eye; afraid or unable to catch the perpetrators as they lay waste to miles of coastal habitat.

This years poster child for ecosystem destruction is the Hillsboro beach renourishment project. The project permit requires the contractor to limit the amount of coral-killing silt generated by monitoring turbidity levels. The standard which they must not exceed is 29 turbidity units (NTU) above background beyond a point 150 meters from the beach sand placement area, or about 492 feet.

For weeks Reef Rescue, other groups and individuals have been supplying FDEP with evidence of noncompliance. In fact, since 2005 Reef Rescue has documented contractor fraud on five separate beach renourishment projects. But the Sunday, March 27, display of a total disregard for permit compliance and habitat destruction goes to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company for creating one of the worst silt plumes we have witnessed. So expansive, it engulfed two South Florida coastal counties and stretched from Hillsboro Beach to north of Boca Raton.

Click on this link to view the Sunday turbidity slide show.

Related post from Juno Beach

Silt plumes over the reefs were reported by scuba diving charter boats almost as soon as work on the project began. On December 22, dive operators found underwater visibility of less than five feet at the popular dive spot “Shark Canyon”, located offshore of the Juno Beach construction site.