Marsha requested these comments follow the Unsettled Waters article if  it is included in this update

Marsha requested these comments follow the Unsettled Waters article if it is included in this update

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DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE Greetings Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative Stakeholders & SEFCRI Members, This email update contains information on the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI). Additional news and noteworthy information related to Coral Reefs are also included. An outline of the contents precedes the updates and news articles for your reference. The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI): 1. US Coral Reef Task Force Meeting Report 2. SEFCRI “Guidelines for Rapid Response to, and Restoration of, Coral Reef Injuries in Southeast Florida” Workshop is Rescheduled 3. Year 3-5 Proposal Summaries for four SEFCRI Teams (MICCI, LBSP, FDOU & AA) 4. SEFCRI Presentations 5. SEFCRI Environmental Education Opportunities at events in your County 6. Land Based Sources of Pollution Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Summary Coral Reefs in the News and Noteworthy Info: 7. Unsettled Waters – White Silt Plumes Raise Questions About Dredging Projects 8. Broward officials say storms, not dredge, buried reef off Deerfield 9. How to kill a perfectly good Florida river 10. Discovery of coral reefs off Collier shores sparks debate 11. Treated sewage triggering algae blooms that endanger popular coral reef 12. Fished Out 13. Most beaches weather the storm 14. DEP Applauds St. Lucie West’s Stat-of-the-art Water Plant Expansion 15. Conservation - Zone D Diet: Slow Lake Discharges with “Zone D Diet” 16. Discover ...

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DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
Greetings Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative Stakeholders & SEFCRI Members,  This email update contains information on the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI). Additional news and noteworthy information related to Coral Reefs are also included. An outline of the contents precedes the updates and news articles for your reference.  The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI):  1. US Coral Reef Task Force Meeting Report 2. SEFCRI Guidelines for Rapid Response to, and Restoration of, Coral Reef Injuries in Southeast Florida Workshop is Rescheduled 3. Year 3-5 Proposal Summaries for four SEFCRI Teams (MICCI, LBSP, FDOU & AA) 4. SEFCRI Presentations 5. SEFCRI Environmental Education Opportunities at events in your County 6. Land Based Sources of Pollution Technical Advisory Committee Meeting Summary  Coral Reefs in the News and Noteworthy Info: 7. Unsettled Waters  White Silt Plumes Raise Questions About Dredging Projects 8. Broward officials say storms, not dredge, buried reef off Deerfield 9. How to kill a perfectly good Florida river 10. Discovery of coral reefs off Collier shores sparks debate 11. blooms that endanger popular coral reefTreated sewage triggering algae  12. Fished Out 13. Most beaches weather the storm 14. DEP Applauds St. Lucie Wests Stat-of-the-art Water Plant Expansion 15. Conservation - Zone D Diet: Slow Lake Discharges with Zone D Diet 16. Discover Floridas Oceans Tag Grant Program PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR FULL DETAILS  
    1. U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting Report Coral Reef Program Manager, Chantal Collier Chantal.Collier@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-1208  The 14th of the U.S. Coral Reef Task  meetingForce, held November 5-7, 2005 in the Republic of Palau, was one of the most productive and interesting meetings of the Task Force with great presentations, good interaction among Task Force members and attendees, and important decisions by the Task Force. A summary of the meeting and meeting materials will be posted on the Task Force web sitewww.coralreef.gov). For further information, please contact Beth Dieveney beth.dieveney@noaa.gov).  The following is a summary of decisions by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force during this meeting:   
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
1. Continue Implementation of Local Action Strategies (LAS) The Task Force affirmed support for continued implementation of the Local Action Strategies to address priority threats to coral reefs, and tasked the Task Force Steering Committee with producing a progress report on LAS implementation by the next Task Force meeting.  2. Call For Action to Respond to Caribbean/Atlantic Bleaching Event The Task Force expressed serious concern about the scope, scale and impacts of the recent large scale coral bleaching event in the Caribbean/Atlantic region, and called for mobilizing efforts across the region (in collaboration with the International Coral Reef Initiative) to monitor and assess short and long term impacts to learn from the event.  3. Call for Workshop on Tools for Responding to Events Causing Major Injury to Coral Reefs In response to a panel on this topic at the Palau Task Force meeting, the Task Force charged the Steering Committee with developing a workshop in 2006 on tools and needs for responding to major injury events in coral reef areas.  4. Call for Building Enforcement Capacity The Task Force called on its members to increase efforts to build enforcement capacity, and charged the Steering Committee to continue training and other efforts including the development of an enforcement toolbox in cooperation with the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) to help coral reef management communities build enforcement capacity.  5. Respond to Recommendations from Sustainable Financing Workshop In response to a workshop on sustainable financing for coral reef conservation at the Palau Task Force meeting cosponsored with the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Task Force charged the Steering Committee with reviewing workshop recommendations and developing options for Task Force action including a sustainable financing toolbox.  6. Conduct Workshop on Federal Grants and Assistance Opportunities for coral reef conservation efforts in the Pacific Following report on successful federal grants workshop for the U.S. Caribbean in 2005, the Task Force charged the Steering Committee with holding a workshop in the Pacific in 2006 to provide information on federal grants and other opportunities to support conservation of coral reef ecosystems.  7. Call for Increased Use of Coral Reef Protected Areas Following panel presentations on use of protected areas and protected area networks for coral reef conservation, the Task Force affirmed the goals and objectives for coral reef protected areas in the National Action Plan and Strategy, and tasked the Steering Committee with completing the draft inventory of existing U.S. coral reef protected areas by the next Task Force meeting.  8. Proposal on 2007 Year of the Reef The Task Force charged the Education and Outreach Working Group with developing options and recommendations (in collaboration with the International Coral Reef Initiative) on a possible 2007 Year of the Reef.   
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
9. Approval of 2006 Task Force meeting schedule The Task Force approved meeting dates for 2006 and tasked the Steering Committee with planning 2006 Task Force meetings for first week of May (Washington DC), and late October (USVI).  10. Approval of report from Steering Committee on past resolutions The Task Force accepted and approved the report and recommendations from the Steering Committee concerning past resolutions.    2. SEFCRI Guidelines for Rapid Response to, and Restoration of, Coral Reef Injuries in Southeast Florida WORKSHOP IS RESCHEDULED!!  To All Interested Participants,  As many of you are aware the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts Team is holding a facilitated workshop to develop Guidelines for Rapid Response to, and Restoration of, Coral Reef Injuries in Southeast Florida, with stakeholder participation.  The new dates for the 2-day workshop are February 2ndand 3rd(Thursday and Friday). The agenda for the 2-day workshop is attached to this e-mail. The workshop is being held at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel (954)920-3500. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to call or e-mail Kelly Gracie (contact information below).We are looking forward to seeing you there and appreciate your participation.  SAVE THE DATES two day workshop designed to help develop “Guidelines for Rapid: A Response to, and Restoration of, Coral Reef Injuries in Southeast Florida” is scheduled for February 2ndand 3rd 2005 at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport Hotel (Griffin Road and I-95). The first day will center on issues regarding Policies and Procedures for Reporting and Rapid Response. The second day will focus on Technical Field Practices and Approaches to Response, Survey, Triage, Restoration, and Monitoring.  Applicable attendees, which include environmental engineering contractors or consultants, legal counsels, resource or vessel owners, academic researchers, conservation organizations, port authorities, governmental (County/State/Federal) and other agencies with responsibilities related to coral reef injuries resulting from cable dragging, vessel groundings, anchor dragging, infrastructure installation, etc. are invited to participate in one or both days of this workshop.  This two day workshop will be conducted by the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Team, as part of the SEFCRI Local Action Strategy MICCI project 2:Develop guidelines for rapid response to, and restoration of, coral reef injuries in southeast Florida.  For more information please contact Kelly Gracie, Coral Reef Program Coordinator, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Biscayne Bay Environmental Center, 1277 NE 79th 
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
Street Causeway, Miami, FL 33138; Phone: 305-795-2111; Fax: 305-795-3470; or E-mail: Kelly.Gracie@dep.state.fl.us.    3. Year 3-5 Proposal Summaries for four SEFCRI Teams (MICCI, LBSP, FDOU and AA)                        From July through September 2005, the FDEP Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) held six SEFCRI Focus Team meetings to review progress to date on Floridas local action strategies and review unfunded projects for the next CRCP proposal to NOAAs Coral Reef Management Grants program. With guidance provided by the SEFCRI Focus Teams at these meetings, the CRCP submitted its pre-proposal to NOAA on November 3rd. Below is a proposal summary for each of the four SEFCRI Focus Areas. NOAA will provide comments on State and Territory pre-proposals in January 2006 and the CRCP must submit its final proposal to NOAA by March 3, 2006. (Note: On November 22ndannounced that Congress did not approve the additional $1.5M for U.S. State and, NOAA Territory Local Action Strategies that was requested in the Presidents 2006 budget. This means the CRCP will need to cut back its final proposal to reflect available NOAA grant funding, which is expected to be comparable to funding the state received in 2005.)  Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts (MICCI) Proposal Summary MICCI Project Coordinator & Coral Reef Project Coordinator, Kelly Gracie Kelly.Gracie@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-2111  In Year 1 of the implementation of the SEFCRI, the MICCI Focus Team has initiated three projects addressing threats to coral reefs including: (1.) combined MICCI and Fishing, Diving and Other Uses (FDOU) Team Project 1,“Identification and evaluation of local, state and federal rules to improve compliance and enforcement of regulations designed to protect coral reef resources and minimize reef impacts.”  The University of Miami has been contracted to complete this project in a coordinated effort with the MICCI and FDOU Team; (2.) MICCI Project 2, “and restoration of, coral reef injuries inDevelop guidelines for rapid response to, southeast Florida,”involving the development of agency coordination for rapid response to, and restoration of, coral reef injuries. A two-day facilitated workshop to initiate the development of these guidelines will be held February 2-3, 2006 at the Sheraton Ft Lauderdale Airport Hotel; and (3.) MICCI Project 3, “Identify innovative technologies, construction practices and procedures that minimize or eliminate coral reef impacts; Review and recommend criteria for coral reef mitigation (associated with coastal construction activities, infrastructure installation, beach renourishment, dredging and groundings).”Tetra Tech is the selected vendor to complete this project in a coordinated effort with the MICCI Team.  Scopes of Work of currently being developed forMICCI Year 2 Projects includedevelopment of Best Management Practices for construction, dredge and fill and other activities around coral reefs, creating an electronic database that can be used in the inter-agency permit review process, develop Best Management Practicies for artificial reef stiting, construction and anchoring in southeast Florida, and creating a template for preparing cumulative impact sections of project reviews and assessments.
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
In Years 3-5, the priority MICCI projects will continue to build on scientific and legal research that has been collected in Year 1 and 2 projects.  The minutes from the 7/21 MICCI meeting can be found online at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/documents/MICCI_Minutes_21Jul05.pdf.  Land Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Proposal Summary LBSP Project Coordinator, Cory Nagle Cory.Naugle@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-1223  The proposed Year 3-5 LBSP local action strategy projects will continue to identify and implement priority actions necessary to determine the extent and condition of the resource, to understand the link between the resource and land-based sources of pollution, and will address the lack of public awareness regarding pollutants, water quality and coral reef health. Year 3 Projects continue to build the foundation for coral reef health and pollution data analysis. LBSP projects proposed for Year 3 include a continuance of the LBSP Technical Advisory Committee, general stakeholder meetings, continuation of the Coral Biomarker Study and the data management program that will house and synthesize coral reef and pollution data. Many LBSP projects funded outside of the NOAA Coral Management Grant will contribute these projects. Specific research, monitoring, mapping and engineering projects do not fit under the NOAA Coral Management Grant guidelines and funding is being sought through partnerships.  The minutes from the 9/29 LBSP meeting can be found at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/documents/LBSP_Minutes_29Sept05.pdf.  Fishing Diving and Other Uses (FDOU) Proposal Summary FDOU Project Coordinator, Karen Bareford Karen.Bareford@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-1221  After a comprehensive review and analysis of the SEFCRI Local Action Strategy, the FDOU Focus Team has developed a plan for Years 3-5. The group wants to collect all of the research and anecdotal information needed to develop viable management options for the reefs from Dade to Martin County, and then be able to present this information back to the stakeholders for their review and input. In Year 3, the priority FDOU projects will focus on the continued collection of background information that was begun in Years 1 and 2. All of this data will then be utilized in Year 4 to begin developing viable management options for the coral reefs and associated reef resources in the SEFCRI region. These management options will utilize data collected from scientific research and local stakeholders in an effort to create options, which are not only scientifically viable, but collaborative in nature, and supported by all the different user groups. In year 5, these management options will be presented back to the stakeholders through pubic meetings in an effort to spot-check the data that was previously collected from them for validity. It is our goal to emerge from these workshops with a series of best options for management tools that will then be presented to the governing agencies for their use in the development of future management plans for the coral reefs in southeast Florida.  
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
The minutes from the 7/26 FDOU meeting can be found online at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/documents/FDOU_Minutes_26Jul05.pdf.  Awareness and Appreciation Project Coordinator (AA) Proposal Summary AA Project Coordinator, Christopher Boykin Christopher.Boykin@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-1222  Following a review and analysis of the SEFCRI LAS, the AA Focus Team has developed a plan for Years 3-5. Public awareness and education focus for Year 3-5 projects of the AAcontinue to be the Focus Team. The tent cards, media kits, and portable exhibits, which were designed in Year 1 of implementation, will be reprinted/updated and distributed/utilized in this next phase (Years 3-5) of implementation.The SEFCRI website and brochures will also be updated and maintained throughout years 3-5 of implementation. Additional key AA projects outlined in this grant include: creating and placing reef awareness signage at boat ramps, excursions for decision makers and the media, development of public service announcements, development of SEFCRI Power Point presentations, establishing and maintaining a SEFCRI presence at community events and coastal clean-ups, the development of coral reef conservation education kits and two teacher training workshops. Ongoing support of the AA Project Coordinator position to implement these projects is critical to the success of the AA LAS.  The minutes from the 8/29 AA meeting can be found online at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/programs/coral/documents/AA_Minutes_29Aug05.pdf.    4. SEFCRI Presentations  As the Coral Reef Conservation Program continues its efforts in 2006, we would like to increase the number of presentations that we make in the four-county SEFCRI region. To achieve this goal, we need your help! If you belong to, run, or know of groups who meet regularly and might be interested in hearing about the Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative please contact Karen Bareford (contact information below). We will need the name of the group, the name of the primary contact, a phone number, and an e-mail address. We will be available during the day, in the evenings, and may be able to arrange for some weekends with advanced notice. Please be aware that we will need at least one month advance notice for presentations in order to prepare. Thank you for your help, and we look forward to talking to you and your groups soon.  Karen Bareford Fishing, Diving and Other Uses Project Coordinator Karen.Bareford@dep.state.fl.us 305.795.1221   5. SEFCRI Environmental Education Opportunities at events in your County The SEFCRI AA Team needs your assistance in compiling a list of community events, shows, expos, etc. in the four county SEFCRI area that we might consider hosting an exhibit at. We have
 
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
compiled the following list based on recommendations from the four SEFCRI teams. Please check the events listed for your County and let us know if weve overlooked an event that would be a good match for a SEFCRI booth.   Please provide any additional info you may have for events (e.g. month, audience, participation, costs, etc.) to Christopher Boykin (contact information below). Once we have a comprehensive list of education/outreach opportunities in the four counties we will prioritize based on booth fees, budget, audience and anticipated attendance. Thanks very much for taking a few minutes to share events in your county that you would like to see a SEFCRI exhibit at. We really appreciate your contributions and support of SEFCRI.   Miami-Dade County: Miami Boat Show  Feb Seagrass awareness month - March Baynanza  April Miami River Day  March Waterfest - April Earth Day - April World Oceans Day - June 8 Florida State Parks Month  June National Marina Day - August International Coastal Clean Up  Sep National Public Lands Day  Sep National Estuaries Day - Sep National Water Monitoring Day  Oct 18 Fairchild Ramble  Nov Miami Book Fair  Nov GIS Day  Nov National Recycling Day - Nov Make a difference Day Nov -            Broward County: Envirothon - January Seagrass awareness month  March MIASF Waterway Cleanup  March 4, 2006 Water Matters Day  March 11, 2006 Dania Marine Flea Market  March/April Oceanfest  April 21-23, 2006 Earth Day - April World Oceans Day - June 8 Florida State Parks Month  June Reef Sweep - June National Marina Day - August Fort Lauderdale Boat Show  October National Water Monitoring Day  Oct 18 International Coastal Clean Up  Sep National Public Lands Day  Sep National Estuaries Day Sep
 
 
 
 
   
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
GIS Day  Nov National Recycling Day - Nov Make a difference Day  Nov Give Thanks for the Environment Day - Nov  Palm Beach County: Everglades Day Feb -Seagrass awareness month  March Palm Beach County Boat Show  March Naturescaping: Earth Day Event at MacArthur Beach SP  April Okeeheelee Nature Center Earth Day - April SunFest  May/June World Oceans Day  June 8 Florida State Parks Month June National Marina Day - August International Coastal Clean Up  Sep National Public Lands Day  Sep National Estuaries Day  Sep Pollution Prevention Week - Sep National Water Monitoring Day  Oct 18 GIS Day  Nov National Recycling Day - Nov Make a difference Day - Nov Florida Dive Show  Dec Tropic Fest / Plunge against the Grunge -    Martin County: Martin County 101: Seminar and exhibit hall event for new residents - ongoing Seagrass awareness month  March Earth Day - April Florida State Parks Month - June World Oceans Day  June 8 Fish Count in State Park - July National Marina Day - August International Coastal Clean Up  Sep National Estuaries Day  Sep National Public Lands Day - Sep National Water Monitoring Day  Oct 18 GIS Day  Nov National Recycling Day Nov -Make a difference Day - Nov   The SEFCRI portable exhibit is under construction and is scheduled to debut at theMiami Boat Showtake a moment to stop by the booth and hope you will  Weon Feb 16-20, our first big event. say hello if your are at the show. We will be on the 2ndfloor in space 2519 near the Clean Marina Programs booth.  AA Project Coordinator, Christopher Boykin
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
Christopher.Boykin@dep.state.fl.us (305) 795-1222    6. LBSP Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting Update The Land Based Sources of Pollution (LBSP) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had two days of productive meetings on November 16 & 17, 2005 at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center. The meeting consisted of updates from LBSP projects in progress as well as presentations from invited speakers and discussions for the development of LBSP projects. Currently, two proposals have been written to address LBSP scientific research projects and funding is being sought through partnerships and grant opportunities. The focus of the TAC remains that of coordinating scientific research and development to determine the sources and extent of pollution that affect southeast Floridas coral reefs. The Coral Biomarker Study (LBSP Project 5) directly addresses the issue of pollutants effects on reef health and funding for the continuance of this project was included in the pre-proposal for the NOAA Coral Management Grant application. A Water Quality Monitoring Program sub-committee was formed among TAC members to develop an ideal program for the SEFCRI region. The TAC meeting minutes will be posted on the DEP coral website:/soclfu./lrpsaatw.de//wwate.p.stniteem_tmth.sg/cmsraogas/palorh:ptt by December 31, 2005.    NOTE: The News Articles that follow do not reflect any position by the Florida Department of Environmental Protections Coral Reef Conservation Program or SEFCRI. They are provided for reference as they pertain to the southeast Florida coral reef ecosystem, either directly or indirectly.    7. UNSETTLED WATERS WHITE SILT PLUMES RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT DREDGING PROJECTS Miami Herald September 19, 2005 BY CURTIS MORGAN cmorgan@herald.com Dredging at the Port of Miami-Dade has stirred up controversy in the form of milk-colored plumes that on bad days have wafted all the way from nearby sea grass beds in Biscayne Bay to shallow reefs outside Government Cut. The clouds of silt, visible numerous times during the last two months, prompted a letter from the state expressing ''serious concern'' and warning the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is monitoring the dredging contractor, to clean up the project.
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
The federal agency said it has fixed the problems, but also argued that even the worst plumes --  captured in aerial photos by Miami-Dade County environmental regulators -- may have looked nasty, but posed no real threat to sea grass, sponges and corals that provide food and shelter for marine life. Glenn Schuster, the Corps' ocean disposal coordinator, blamed much of the murk on leaky barges, which have been replaced or repaired, and pockets of clay in the rocky bottom. Once disturbed, the fine particles reflect so much light it can make water appear almost white, but he said there was not enough of it to affect the sensitive grass beds at the edge of the dredging area. ''That's the key, the fact that we're not causing a detrimental impact to the resources we're trying to protect,'' Schuster said. ``It's just unfortunate in Miami that the kinds of material that does cause the turbidity is the kind of material that makes it look really bad.'' Environmentalists don't buy that assurance. ''It's just a mess out there,'' said Cynthia Guerra, executive director of the Tropical Audubon Society of Miami-Dade, which along with the Save the Manatee Club fired off emails and letters to the Corps and Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. ``It's crystal clear to me. They are causing a very significant impact in the basin and they just don't want to deal with it.'' Critics say the plumes underline the problems of dredging at the port, a bustling industrial operation with fish-rich waters frequented by anglers and adjacent to the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve, a state manatee and bird sanctuary considered so sensitive that boats and people aren't allowed in . The $35 million project to dredge a turning basin and section of Fisherman's Channel on the port's south side, which began in July and is expected to wind up by mid-October, is the first step in work port administrators say is critical to accommodate larger freighters and compete with other ports. The Corps has a more ambitious follow-up proposal that requires congressional approval. That effort, projected to cost $173 million and last up to six years, envisions widening and deepening most of the port, including the offshore entrance to Government Cut, main channels and two other turning basins. Environmentalists, along with recreational fishing groups, have campaigned against the dredging, in part because of concerns about the impact of underwater explosives on federally protected species such as manatees and sea turtles, as well as populations of tarpon and snook that inhabit the port's deep channels. But techniques designed to minimize vibrations from the underwater explosives caused far fewer fish kills than critics had feared. But with the blasting phase wrapped up, a new problem emerged. Additional digging with a hydraulic cutting head and the process of barging the rubble to a federally approved dump site four miles offshore have produced many large plumes of discolored water. BREAKING THE RULES 
DECEMBER 2005 SEFCRI UPDATE
After reviewing water tests results and eye-catching aerial photos that show barges trailing a long wake of silt nearly the length of Fisherman's Channel, the state DEP sent a letter on Aug. 22 to document what state regulators said were numerous exceedences of state water quality standards.
Under terms of the state permit, the contractor, Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, is required to measure turbidity at least twice daily, four hours apart.
Crushing and digging rock and sand from the sea floor is going to make some mess in the water. Under the state permit, a certain amount of murk is acceptable 150 meters from any on-going work. But by 1,000 meters away, the water clarity is supposed to match normal conditions on that day.
The letter, a formal notice of noncompliance, detailed numerous ''apparent violations.'' In addition to excessive murk that shut down the dredging several times, there had been numerous smaller, unreported exceedences.
Marty Seeling, the DEP's administrator of environmental permitting, said at least four siltings could be categorized as ``significant.''
But after meeting with the Corps this week, Seeling said neither the federal agency nor the contractor would be issued a formal violation. He said the state was satisfied with the way the federal agency had quickly addressed the problems.
He also echoed the Corps that while the plumes were ''unacceptable to us,'' water tests showed most exceedences were only slightly above allowable standards and the worst were similar to the level of silt that might occur during a bad storm.
''Turbidity is a tough one to eyeball,'' Seeling said. ``You have to collect a sample to really see how bad it is. We are not trying to whitewash it. Turbidity plumes are a concern and that's why we met with the Corps.''
Seeling and Schuster said the contractor had immediately shut down the dredge when it churned up the two heavy clouds and had taken one barge out of service that caused three of the worst incidents.
The barge, equipped with doors in the bottom of its hull that open to dump debris, was leaking through damaged seals. The contractor, who did not return a call for comment, also agreed to hold the debris in the barge for a longer period before dumping excess water, a step that should allow more silt to settle.
COMPROMISES 
Beyond that, Schuster said, port managers had agreed to stop dredging in some areas of the channel with the thickest clay deposits, the source of much of the silt.
The state, in turn, agreed to alter the permit to include a ''margin of error'' of about 10 percent in measuring turbidity, a concession that would have greatly reduced the number of excessive readings.