Jun 08 2016
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take the necessary measures to ensure Florida’s coral reefs are accounted for during the upcoming Port Everglades project that will allow the port to accommodate larger ships needed to maintain its flourishing commerce industry.
In a letter to Jacksonville District Commander, Colonel Jason A. Kirk, Rubio highlighted the important role the reefs play in protecting the coastline from storms, providing an important habitat to many species, and as an economic driver to the state through tourism. Addressing the concerns raised by local stakeholders will ensure this project can move forward without delay.
A PDF of the letter is available here and the full text is below:
Colonel Jason A. Kirk
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019
Dear Colonel Kirk:
Florida’s coral reef system is unique and essential to the protection of our coastline from storms as well as the habitat it provides for many species of plants and animals. It is this ecosystem that draws fishermen, divers, snorkelers and tourists from all over the world, generating valuable economic dollars to the state’s economy, while educating and building awareness to all who encounter the impressive system.
Stakeholders have expressed concerns for the forthcoming Port Everglades project, which is vital to ensuring the port can accommodate larger ships needed for the increase in commerce. Economic growth and protecting habitats do not need to be mutually exclusive. For this reason, I respectfully request assurances that the Army Corps of Engineers is taking the necessary measures to ensure the corals are accounted for and properly protected during the Port Everglades deepening and widening project.
By working with those who have raised these issues, and ensuring their concerns are addressed, the Port Everglades project can move forward without the delays associated with litigation. I thank you for your attention to this important matter.
United States Senator