Fisher Island residents oppose tunnel dredging

Port director says seawall is Fisher Island's responsibility

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - The condominium owners on Fisher Island have become the latest to oppose plans to deep-dredge Government Cut for the Port of Miami.  

The entrance to the port is the island's northern border. 

Their concerns are detailed in their request for a formal hearing with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. They include questions about the impact on its ferry service, construction noise and concerns of damage to the island's seawall. 

"Part of this could be they're looking for someone -- federal government, state government, the Port -- to provide them a new seawall," said Port Director Bill Johnson. 

Port officials insist Fisher Island's seawall is Fisher Island's issue and Fisher Island's bill to pay. The community ranks as one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the country. 

This is not the first time Fisher Island has looked to the Port for seawall repairs and upgrades.  

In a 2005 letter, the Army Corp of Engineers makes clear that the government has jurisdiction in federal waters to "use, control and regulate U.S. waters for commerce"  with no allowance for compensation. 

"It's their responsibility," said Johnson. "The taxpayers of Miami-Dade County should not be providing Fisher Island with a new seawall."

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