One of the biggest worries that environmentalists in Miami face right now is the planned port expansion that Miami will execute that is expected to destroy coral reefs across the bay.
Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals that provide home to 25% of all marine species in the world, though they only take up one-tenth percent of the ocean floor. They are important to the delicate marine ecosystem and are fragile themselves, being sensitive to temperature, and over the past 25 years, global warming, storms, last year's cold blast, diseases and human waste have caused their populations to decline sharply.
Planned dredging will blast the Miami port to make room for superfreighters, causing damage and loss of many different coral reefs, especially one known as the elkhorn, which is on the endangered species list.
Environmentalists are trying to fight this, but it is a losing battle. According to director for water resource management at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, they are causing the minimum amount of damage necessary in order to complete the process.
In order to make up for the damage they are causing, the company conducting the project (the Army Corps of Engineers) are to transplant much of the coarl to a trough between two reefs--stony coral larger than inches will be chiseled out and moved to the trough, while soft coral larger than 10 inches will be transplanted as well.
Even with all this, nearly eight acres of sea grass will be damaged, which is why the corps is required to seed 25 acres in a large underwater hole designed for this, a little farther up north.
Many concerns were voiced whether or not the damage caused to the corals will even be worth it, as there is a chance the project will not bring the "economic windfall" that is expected.