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It’s a go: celebrating the next stage, U.S. Army Corps and Miami-Dade County Mayor jointly agree to continue Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Study

Daniella Levine Cava

Posted on August 21, 2023

Today, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District celebrated their joint decision to continue work on Part Two of the expanded Miami-Dade County Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study (Back Bay Study). The renewed commitment kicks off an additional 4-year period that will prioritize further study and refinement of the two proposed storm surge reduction alternatives developed during weeklong charrettes that took place in November 2022 and March 2023 which included extensive stakeholder and public input.

In the second part of the feasibility phase, the Corps will invest $7.3 million over the next 4 years to better understand the feasibility of the project. Building upon work done in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Resilience, and Department of Environmental Resources Management, the continued feasibility phase of the study will feature an increased focus on areas that have been historically underserved by major capital projects. There will also be renewed commitment to incorporating natural and nature-based features.

“This milestone is an enormous win for Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “As we approach the peak of hurricane season, we are reminded that the threat of a catastrophic storm is all too real here in Miami-Dade. By working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we will identify both short- and long-term projects that will protect our people and enhance our ecosystems. I am committed to working with our municipalities, community members, and all stakeholders to solicit public participation and feedback that will help ensure an equitable outcome for a future ready Miami-Dade.”

Following today’s decision, the Corps and the County will co-host a Zoom meeting to update the public on Wednesday, August 23 at 5:30 p.m. The link to register for the meeting is:

“We are excited to continue our collaboration with Miami-Dade County on Part Two Feasibility Phase of the Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study” said Col. Brian Hallberg USACE Norfolk District Commander. “This renewed commitment underscores our dedication to enhancing storm surge risk reduction and resilience in Miami-Dade County. We believe that by working hand in hand with the community, we can develop actionable projects that not only safeguard lives and property but also contribute to the preservation of Miami-Dade County’s precious ecosystems.”

Our joint effort with Miami-Dade County represents a significant step forward in our mission to mitigate the impacts of storm surge and sea-level rise. We remain committed to a future-ready Miami-Dade and look forward to continued progress in building a resilient and thriving coastal community.

In August 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District and Miami-Dade County, its non-federal sponsor, re-initiated the Back Bay Study following a pause as a result of community response to the original proposal that included mostly grey infrastructure such as large walls, surge gates across canals and rivers, and pump stations. Over the past year, the Corps and the County have worked closely together and with the public to formulate draft alternatives that include more natural and nature-based solutions and that have greater support from the community. This time around in this collaborative work, the Corps and the County have worked hand in hand to ensure the process involved all stakeholders by reaching out from the onset of the project through workshops, public meetings, design charrettes and on-the-ground tours.

In Part Two of the Study, the Corps and the County are committed to evaluating concepts that are best suited to Miami-Dade’s unique environment and economic factors. The Back Bay Study will also be integrated with other USACE studies in the County and region including the Key Biscayne Study to ensure complementary, comprehensive benefits are created through multiple lines of defense that span the region from offshore to inland areas. The South Dade area of the Study will also be expanded to include more natural and nature-based features.

The Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study examines the impacts of and potential responses to storm surge damage in Miami-Dade County. The study area includes coastal and inland areas at risk from coastal storm flooding and sea level rise. To learn more about the study visit


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