Port Everglades secures $32 mln to curb environmental threats from rising sea levels

Florida’s Port Everglades has won a $32 million grant to mitigate environmental threats from flooding and sea level rise and ensure continued access for marine vessels.

Image credit Broward County’s Port Everglades

The grant is part of more than $275 million for resilience projects issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the port said.

The port intends to use the funding to replace bulkheads (sea wall) in the northern part of the port, which will assist in reducing the impacts of climate change to the port and neighboring residents. In addition to replacing the aging bulkheads, there is a future opportunity to raise the bulkhead height. The bulkheads will be designed based on a projection of 4.36 feet in sea level rise by 2095. The estimate comes from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ High Scenario Sea Level Rise established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report.

“These new funds, a total of nearly $92 million for Broward County and cities, will help us accelerate the projects needed to mitigate adverse impacts,” said Broward County Mayor Lamar P. Fisher.

“The $32 million awarded to Port Everglades speaks to the port’s position as a vital seaport and driver of economic development and a leader of environmental stewardship in Broward County and Florida.”

Additionally, the Port will replace the north entrance channel bulkhead, which will support the continued safe navigation of the waterway for all marine traffic including cargo ships, cruise ships and energy vessels. 

“This significant grant will strengthen Port Everglades’ ability to adapt its critical assets, such as bulkheads, to address flooding and offset the impact of conditions that could be caused by climate change,” said CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels

In October 2022, the port secured a $19 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) to replace approximately 1,650 linear feet of bulkheads (sea wall) at Berths 16, 17, and 18. 

The bulkheads are planned and designed to account for sea level rise and accommodate new generations of larger cargo and cruise vessels, according to Daniels.

The grant is being revealed on the back of the port’s efforts to add shore power to eight of its cruise terminals as part of its strategy to curb emissions at the port.

Shore power infrastructure enables ships to turn off their engines and connect to the local electric power grid. Full implementation of this shore power and electrification initiative is projected to eliminate 11,366 metric tons of CO2 while reducing NOx and SO2 emissions by 75% and 51%, respectively. 

The earliest construction could occur is mid-2024 with all phases completed by the end of 2027, the port estimates.

Related Article