As Miami News Times reports, after a five-month legal standoff over a controversial plan to deepen the Port of Miami using explosive charges, environmentalists have relented.
Three groups opposed to the project have dropped their lawsuit in exchange for legal fees and the establishment of a $1,310,000 trust fund to mitigate effects of the deep dredge.
“Their permit sucked,” says Biscayne Bay boat captain Dan Kipnis, one of the plaintiffs. “This permit doesn’t suck as much.”
Last November, Kipnis joined the Tropical Audubon Society and Biscayne Bay Water Keeper in suing to stop the Deep Dredge. Like Kipnis, Tropical Audubon executive director Laura Reynolds insists that the settlement was what was best for the Bay.
“We’ve got to help Biscayne Bay come back after they are done blasting,” she says. “For the first time, the public will be able to see the data collected in real time, and to see for themselves if a violation happens.”
“This is a win-win for the entire community,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, in a statement. “The agreement provides additional funding for important environmental projects, while at the same time allowing for the timely completion of the dredge project, which is critical to our efforts to grow our container cargo traffic and create thousands of new, well-paying jobs in our community.”
Dredging Today Staff, April 26, 2012;