St. Johns Riverkeeper Files Federal Dredging Suit Against Army Corps

Apr 7, 2017

Credit Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

The St. Johns Riverkeeper has filed a federal lawsuit to try to block plans to deepen the river for larger ships to enter JaxPort.

The nonprofit Riverkeeper filed the suit Friday against the Army Corps of Engineers for its environmental analysis of a proposed 7-foot deepening of 13 miles of the St. Johns River.

Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said the challenge is a record review.

“Did the Army Corps do what they needed to do to prove that it’s environmentally acceptable? And then did they prove that it’s in the federal interest, that it’s in the national or public interest from an economic perspective?” Rinaman said.

MORE | Read the lawsuit below

The complaint alleges inadequate proposed environmental offsets for the deepening, and an incomplete and flawed environmental analysis.  

Rinaman said her nonprofit believes the dredge isn’t economically justified or environmentally sustainable.

The Army Corps Jacksonville dredging project manager has said during a 2015 panel the impact study was cut short, but all steps were completed.

The Army Corps didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

JaxPort hasn’t locked down funding to begin the proposed dredge.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.