Two proposals being considered to prevent storm surges in Biscayne Bay

Dade County, Florida — Since 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working with Miami-Dade County to find solutions to protect the area from storm surges. The first plan, presented in 2021, failed to win the mayor’s support.

But last August, the US Army Corps of Engineers got a second chance to create an alternative solution.

It’s a picture-perfect sight that makes Miami a one-of-a-kind Biscayne Bay.

Looking to the future, Miami-Dade County is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop comprehensive solutions to complex problems.

They must find ways to protect these coastlines, property, and the people who live on them, without harming the ecosystems, banks, or inhabitants.

Faraz Ahmed, Project Leader for Back Bay Research, said:

He shares that they came up with two proposals after the November meeting.

The first is called the Atlantic Coast Alternative. This is a structural plan involving the alignment of natural features such as mangroves and artificial coral reefs around North Biscayne Bay along the coastline.

Storm surge gates are also sometimes added to major openings such as the Rickenbacker Causeway.

U.S. Army

“So basically there is a gate along the cove that could connect to some sort of structural feature that goes along the beach,” says Ahmed.

Other proposals are unstructured. This is similar to what has been proposed for 2021.

It elevates the home and appears to use nature-based features and flood-resistant commercial buildings.

According to the authors, the major differences between the two proposals are:

Structural plans pose more significant risks, but may bring additional benefits such as infrastructure and utility improvements. And structural planning has a direct impact and mitigates the problem.

Project Manager Abbe Preddy said: “These are the things that physically stop storm surges, and that’s what we’re focused on.”

Experts say unstructured planning won’t prevent or stop storm surges. Instead, it just limits or mitigates the damage.

Preddy adds, “It’s like raising a structure. So you still get that damage. Flooding and storm surge inundation still happens. It’s flood resistant or elevated, so it’s just less damaged.” is.”

Neither proposal has been finalized.

Thursday was just one of many sessions homeowners can attend. Most of the comments were against the location, construction and performance of the gate. But others wanted to know more about what is considered a nature-based feature.

After hours of question-and-answer sessions, the team says it will continue to hear comments like this until August of this year, when it needs to prepare one or more plans for county approval.

A new investigation will begin once the plan is approved and moves forward in August. It costs about $8.2 million.

A final report is due in 2027, subject to congressional approval and Miami-Dade County consent.

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/the-two-proposals-being-considered-to-prevent-storm-surges-in-biscayne-bay Two proposals being considered to prevent storm surges in Biscayne Bay

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