We thank the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for funding the pilot project, “Analysis of sediments from Port Everglades Inlet (PEI) for Microbiome Characterization“. The results should be made available later this year, and may have important implications. Detrimental effects have been known to result from activities such as dredging. which can disturb bottom sediments and disperse silt and sediments to nearby offshore habitats via plumes and the outgoing currents. The work to process PEI samples has been expertly performed this summer by soon to be doctoral student (at the University of Miami), Hyo Lee, and NSU volunteer Kristin Olenchak (both pictured).
For further reading: 1. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/dredging-of-miami-port-badly-damaged-coral-reef-study-finds.html 2. Cunning, R., Silverstein, R. N., Barnes, B. B., & Baker, A. C. (2019). Extensive coral mortality and critical habitat loss following dredging and their association with remotely-sensed sediment plumes. Marine pollution bulletin, 145, 185-199.