CPA Myth NO 3: A commercial rail crossing will harm the lagoon

In this series of posts, we are looking at the various myths which the Canaveral Port Authority says it wants to educate the public about. This is a part of CPA's community outreach concerning its proposal to erect an earthen-berm causeway — more than a mile in length — across the northern Banana River Lagoon. In this installment, we're taking a look at Myth No. 2 contained in the Port's document Port Canaveral Rail System Myths vs. Facts, distributed after its April 30th informational meeting. That link takes you to the CPA's website, where the full document is available.

 

MYTH NO. 3 — The Phantom Plan

The Canaveral Port Authority’s third myth on its hit-list, is that the Commercial Rail Crossing will harm the lagoon.

The fact they purport: The pile-supported trestle crossing will allow water to flow freely. We are currently researching whether oyster net systems placed on each column could help filter pollutants from the water in a natural way. Also, Florida Institute of Technology scientists claim they can create a seawater baffle system for water flush capabilities to enhance the lagoon system and its sea grass beds. Port Canaveral supports this logical, scientific approach and continues to work with multiple agencies and scientists in all areas to support a healthy lagoon system. We believe that in working with environmental professionals, we can enhance, not harm, the lagoon system.

What we know: In this video, Port CEO John Walsh says their is no fill in their current plan.

 

What we don't know: What plan he is talking about.

 Photo of plan preferred by CPA according to latest information from Surface Transportation Board.

Photo of plan preferred by CPA according to latest information from Surface Transportation Board.

 Detail showing earthen-berm causeway on detailed drawing above. Note, CPA has removed the 6,000-foot distance. But according to the scale in the lower right, this is 6,000 feet in length. 

Detail showing earthen-berm causeway on detailed drawing above. Note, CPA has removed the 6,000-foot distance. But according to the scale in the lower right, this is 6,000 feet in length. 

Fact: Drawings for the plan preferred by the CPA and on file with the STB include a 6,000-foot earthen-berm, filled causeway.

Earthen-berm causeways like those on SR 520 and 528 and the Pineda Causeway have significantly decreased the wind-driven flow of water throughout the river and led to water quality degredation and habitat loss.