Deep Dredge Opponents Release 'Battle for Biscayne Bay' Video as Senate Pushes Ahead

​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.

"We are hoping that some people could add some much needed funds to our effort," says Alexis Segal of Waterkeeper. "We are up against the type of political machine that doesn't have a bottom to their pockets."

"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.

"I was compelled to make the video after hearing about the proposed dredge project at a time when I was particularly sensitive to Miami's BS waste of taxpayer dollars -- because the Miami Marlins had just unwrapped their 500 million dollar taxpayer gift earlier last summer," he told Beached Miami. "It's about time Miami found out where two billion dollars is about to be sunk -- into killing our bay for 'phantom ships' that will probably never make it to our shoreline. Full Stop."

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.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.