The practice of dredging in Miami’s port to clear waterways for ships has damaged the region’s coral reefs.
The finding, reported in the New York Times, comes amid continued concern that warm temperatures from the past several months linked to the El Niño climate pattern, as well as global warming, could wipe out as much as 15% of the world’s coral reefs.
The report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed that 81% of the reef had been damaged in the vicinity of dredging in the port, according to the Times report. Dredging is a process of removing unwanted sediment from the bottom of a waterway.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently assessing how to address the issue in Miami.