Port Everglades Hosts South African Delegation to Share Environmental Initiatives

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jason2Five municipal officials from Durban, South Africa, visited Port Everglades on Tuesday, March 11, to learn about the operations of the South Florida port. Major expansions are planned for the Port of Durban, South Africa’s busiest port and the second-busiest port in Africa.

The Durban delegation was particularly interested in learning about the efforts at Port Everglades to promote sustainability and mitigate environmental impacts of port development. The group’s tour of Port Everglades, part of a weeklong visit hosted by Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale, focused on a variety of environmental issues.

 

The Durban exchange is part of the CityLinks Program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and administered by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Recent sustainability and environmental mitigation activities at Port Everglades include ongoing efforts to provide electricity to cruise ships while in port, creating a new, larger mangrove habitat to replace an existing mangrove habitat that will be removed to accommodate the expansion of the Port’s Southport Turning Notch project, and considering alternatives to reduce impacts on coral reefs from the planned channel deepening project leading from the ocean into the Port harbor.

A brand new port is planned for the coastal site of the former international airport in Durban that will have a major environmental impact on surrounding communities, both from construction and the road and rail traffic generated by port activities once it is in operation. Many of these communities are informal settlements, home to residents living in extreme poverty in poorly-constructed dwellings with little access to running water, sanitation or electricity. Natural areas will also be affected.

The South African visitors work for eThekwini Municipality, which encompasses the city of Durban and surrounding communities. With more than 3.4 million residents, Durban is the third-largest metropolitan municipality in South Africa, behind only Johannesburg and Cape Town. Durban is located on the Indian Ocean coast in eastern South Africa and shares many common features with Broward County and Fort Lauderdale, including warm climates, strong tourism sectors and diverse populations.

The Durban delegation is led by Dr. Debra Roberts, deputy head of the Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, joined by Geoffrey Tooley, Catchment Manager; Sean O’Donoghue, Climate Protection Branch Manager; Andrew Mather, Coastal Policy Project Executive; and Richard Boon, Biodiversity Planning Manager.

During their visit to Port Everglades, the South African delegation heard from Deputy Port Director Glenn Wiltshire, Assistant Port Director for Strategic Planning J. David Anderton and Environmental Projects Manager Bob Musser, Maisy Alpert of Port Communications and Community Relations as well as from Dr. Kenneth Banks, Marine Resources Section Manager with the Broward County Natural Resources Planning & Management Division.

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