The Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Focus Area was formed to address coastal construction and maritime industry activities that have the potential of impacting our coastal habitats and coral reefs. Activities such as vessel anchoring and groundings, infrastructure installation (e.g., cables, pipelines and outfalls), beach nourishment, and dredge and fill operations in and around coral reefs and coastal habitats can adversely affect these sensitive ecosystems.
In cooperation and partnership with marine industries, universities, regulatory agencies, and governmental and nongovernmental environmental agencies, the aims of this focus team's local action strategy are to protect reef systems from impacts associated with maritime industry and coastal construction projects and activities; develop and encourage more environmentally protective coastal development and construction practices that better protect marine and estuarine habitats; develop and implement marine and estuarine habitat restoration as part of mitigation; and encourage compliance with regulatory requirements by increasing monitoring during project construction and encouraging appropriate enforcement actions.
This strategy will allow the MICCI Focus Area to promote effective measures to minimize or alleviate damaging impacts to our coral reefs and marine habitats.
Evaluate existing coastal construction and marine industry practices and their potential (or documented) impacts, develop alternative or innovative methods and processes that significantly minimize or eliminate impacts to marine habitats.
Compile and/or develop appropriate procedures for response to reef impacts, and reef restoration and monitoring.
Review existing regulations and suggest modifications or promote new regulations (as appropriate).
Encourage compliance with existing regulations.
The MICCI team has implemented 27 projects since 2004. These projects include identification and evaluation of state and federal rules for relevance, effectiveness, and level of compliance and effort; the development of regional standard operating procedures for rapid response to and restoration of impacted coral reefs; identification of innovative technologies, construction practices and procedures to minimize coral reef impacts. Current projects build on the previous efforts, in addition to gathering data to improve monitoring during construction and understanding changes in reef sediment and microbial community before and after construction.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.