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Mile Point dredging plan presentation slated for Tuesday

5:28 AM, May 22, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There's a big meeting Tuesday about the future of JAXPORT and shipping. It revolves around the Mile Point project, which involves dredging 10 feet of the St. Johns River.

The plan covers a 14-mile stretch of the St. Johns River. JAXPORT wants to increase the depth of the river from 40 feet to 50 feet. They say that will allow larger cargo ships to pass.

"This project would allow those larger vessels to access the Jacksonville harbor, to allow more cargo per ship," said Paul Stodola of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Can dredging be environmentally friendly?" First Coast News asked Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman.

"It's hard to think of it being environmentally friendly. There will be an impact. We just need to know what that impact is and what's the extent of it," she replied.

So now, they are balancing the environment will the potential economic boost. Right now, ships are limited to movement along the river during high tide. JAXPORT says deepening the river would create 2,000 jobs and dramatically increase business.

The big reveal happens Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The St. Johns Riverkeeper says it wants to review this announcement before coming out for or against the dredging plans.

First Coast News

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