Study: Mud stirred up during PortMiami dredge killed coral

Posted at 9:11 AM, Nov 22, 2016

MIAMI (AP) -- A recent study authored by scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the University of Miami says dredging at PortMiami is killing far more coral than the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers predicted.

The Miami Herald reports the study was published this month in the online journal PeerJ sought to determine what killed coral around the $205 million dredge.

The Corps contended a disease outbreak was responsible. State environmental regulators argued that mud stirred up by the dredge or leaked by a barge as it ferried sediment offshore smothered coral.

Researchers studied pictures taken before, during and after the dredge and said sediment spread across an area about 14 times bigger than expected.

The dredging is part of a plan to deepen the channel to make way for massive new ships.