Deepening the River: A Review of the Ecology; Corps of Engineers Will Report on Environmental Consequences

By Bauerlein, David | The Florida Times Union, October 24, 2012 | Go to article overview

Deepening the River: A Review of the Ecology; Corps of Engineers Will Report on Environmental Consequences


Bauerlein, David, The Florida Times Union


Byline: David Bauerlein

A federal study of deepening the St. Johns River for larger cargo ships will give the public its first look Thursday at the potential environmental changes caused by dredging the harbor.

Army Corps of Engineers officials said Tuesday they were finalizing their preliminary findings and could not go into details about what they will discuss.

"We're still putting the presentation together," said Paul Stodola, a corps biologist. "We're on a very tight timeline."

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Port Authority's cruise terminal at 9810 August Drive, off Heckscher Drive.

The environmental impact of dredging the 40-foot channel to a depth of up to 50 feet will be a major part of the corps study.

The analysis also will be looking at the cost of dredging the river and whether the expense is justified based on reducing transportation costs for the nation's commerce.

The cost of dredging will be several hundred million dollars. The Army Corps meeting Thursday will not go into the economic aspects of the study.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said her organization will scrutinize the preliminary findings and the assumptions the corps is using in its ecology study. …

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