The fight over Biscayne Bay is heating up.
Environmentalists who have sued to stop the Port of Miami's Deep Dredge have adopted a new tactic: a public appeal for sympathy -- and funds -- to stop the controversial project. Meanwhile, a bill is barreling through the Florida Senate that will force a decision on the Dredge this summer.
Click through to see the environmentalists' new video, "Battle for Biscayne Bay."
Last week, we reported that Miami state representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera had inserted an amendment -- drafted with the approval of the mayor and Port director Bill Johnson and written by the county attorney-- into HB 373 that would cut short the debate over the Deep Dredge.
Now similar language has been added to a stormwater management bill in the Senate. Both pieces of legislation look likely to pass.
That gives environmentalists only a few months to raise awareness and funds before presenting their arguments against the Deep Dredge before a judge.
To that end, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper -- one of the complaint's plaintiffs -- has teamed up with Nick Ducassi from Borscht Films to make a 10-minute video opposing the project.
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"The local media tries to make it an economy vs. environment issue but... you can't simplify it to that," she adds. "What is at stake is Biscayne Bay, which is at the heart of Miami no matter where you live (in the city)."
Ducassi cited similar concerns.
However much awareness and cash the video raises, or however strong the environmentalists' argument is in court, the Deep Dredge decision could already be settled. Both pieces of legislation make clear that the Department of Environmental Protection -- not a judge -- will have final say in whether the project goes ahead.