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Filmmaker and conservationist Philippe Cousteau has warned that a multi-million-dollar plan to deepen an international shipping port off south Florida could devastate fragile parts of the continental United States' only barrier reef.A plan to carve out the sea bottom near Port Everglades was sent to Congress in January, detailing a $313 million plan to deepen and widen a channel that was first dredged nearly a century ago.It is also one of the three largest cruise ports in Florida.Silverstein is concerned that the current plan is the same as the Port of Miami project, which allowed sediment to settle on corals, smothering these living animals and destroying more than 101 hectares of reef, including hundreds of staghorn corals.Journalists were also invited to inspect the reefs aboard two-seat submersible watercraft that plunged some 30 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.A fact sheet on the Port Everglades project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers described plans to construct more than 5 hectares of artificial reef habitat, to compensate for the removal of 4 hectares of reef.
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