In a race to accommodate for the increasingly bigger and bigger vessels, more and more ports are dredging their inlets, widening and deepening their access channels to their piers. While it may be a natural evolution of modern times, it also unfortunately often comes with detrimental costs for the underwater

A relatively recent example has been that of the PortMiami which had dredge work carried out in 2014 and which resulted in a kill off of thousands of corals due to vast dredge-resulted sediment mud deposited on top of nearby coral thereby suffocating the coral. You may wish to review associate professor at Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Andrew Baker’s recount of the situation then:

A similar dredging work is planned to commence in 2017 for the Port Everglades inlet. Here the plans are to deepen the main navigational channels from 42′ to 48′ and widening the entrance channel from 45′ to 55′ and widening other select areas. The environmental impact of this planned work is said to be the destruction of almost 15 acres of coral reef along the entrance channel to Port Everglades, but the impact could be even bigger than that.

In a collaboration between Project Baseline and Miami Waterkeeper an unprecedented effort of documenting the area before the dredging begins in order to establish a true baseline is about to unfold. Beginning tomorrow March 20th, a string of dives using manned submersibles as well as skilled Global Underwater Explorers divers will be carried out to document large areas capturing video and still shots.

It is precisely this kind of documentation that can provide the best and most useful proof of evolution of the State of Health of our waters: Establishing and
ensuring full documentation now of specific areas, to establish a Baseline, with which future documentation of same area can be compared in order to make sound evaluation of the effects and changes taking place, typically as direct or indirect effect of human activities.

Over two days, commencing tomorrow, the divers will document the area and this documentation will provide for an invaluable resource that will provide for unbiased evaluation the effects of in this case, dredge work, on a before and after the fact basis.

The efforts are supported by the 146′ exploration vessel Baseline Explorer operated by GlobalSubDive and its two Triton submarines. In addition, a submersible from DeepFlight, called the Dragon, will also we joining along with experts divers.

We will be publicizing more on this work as we progress and will be sharing on the various social media platforms as well, so be sure to connect with us there. Part of the important work that we do with Project Baseline is of course also to
increase awareness about current state of health of our waters and of the effects of human activities, so we encourage you to help us spread this awareness by sharing our stories and our social media posts.

Here’s where you can find us:

About Miami Waterkeeper:
Miami Waterkeeper (MWK, formerly Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper) is a Miami-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that advocates for South Florida’s watershed and wildlife. Our goal is to educate locals and visitors about the vital role of clean water in Miami’s clean water economy, and to empower them to take an active role in community decision making. We hope to ensure a clean and vibrant, water-based coastal culture and ecosystem for generations to come. We are a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an internationally recognized, citizen-led alliance working for clean water around the world. Launched in 2011, MWK is the first Waterkeeper in South Florida and the only advocacy organization solely dedicated to protecting Biscayne Bay and its
surrounding watershed. Visit

About Project Baseline:
Project Baseline, supported by Global Underwater Explorers and the research vessel Baseline Explorer, was founded in 2009 to empower a global network of highly skilled scuba divers (more than 275 and growing) in 25 countries to create a lasting visual legacy of underwater conditions in oceans, lakes, rivers, springs, and caves all over the world, one picture and video at a time. For more information, visit

About Baseline Explorer:
The Baseline Explorer is classed as a private research vessel, owned and operated by GlobalSubDive since the start of 2015. The ship is 146’ long with a 36’ beam and is equipped with two manned submersibles, a recompression chamber, and gas compressors to support advanced diving operations to depths of 1,000’. To date, GlobalSubDive as has supported marine research by teaming with three universities in Florida, the Azores, and Portugal. For more information, visit