$3.2 million for reef repair
The owners of a freighter that ran aground and destroyed a section of coral reef outside of Port Everglades have reached an agreement to pay $3.2 million for reef repairs.
A report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said Moon Bright Shipping Co. will put the money into a state environmental trust fund. The agreement between Moon Bright and state and local environmental regulators includes $3 million for repair work and a $200,000 fine.
The vessel Federal Pescadores ran aground in October 2004. The Panamanian-flagged vessel was carrying a load of cement from Port Everglades to Port Canaveral.
The report said divers have been removing rubble by hand and using cement to reattach broken pieces of coral to the reef.
The grounding of the 546-foot ship and the subsequent vessel removal efforts damaged about five acres of coral reef.
Environmentalists said the repair work will help to begin restoration of the reef, but that it would take decades before the recovery is complete.