Miami-Dade County ‘Back Bay’ Study

Beginning in 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) along with the non-federal sponsor, Miami-Dade County, conducted a 3-year federally funded ‘Back Bay’ Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Feasibility Study to help explore opportunities to protect our most vulnerable areas from future storm surge damage. Following extensive public engagement, feedback from various state and federal resource agencies, and discussions with the USACE, the study was put on pause in 2021.

Then, after further discussions, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced on Sept. 6, 2022, an extension for the study after making a formal request to Assistant Secretary Connor and the USACE. The USCAE expressed support for the development and consideration of locally identified alternatives that provide comprehensive benefits for the natural environment and Biscayne Bay, producing more equitable outcomes in addition to reducing potential economic or property damage from storm surges.

The goal is to develop an acceptable alternative for further study by August of 2023 that is supported by the USACE, and most importantly the local governments and communities in Miami-Dade County. Following this decision point, refreshed and expanded feasibility work will be required before Congressional authorization of any project is considered, and more detailed design work can occur. The next design phase could be several years away and implementation afterward with each phase subject to extensive multi-level review and approval. The County is committed to expediting any supported measures as much as possible through the USACE while also leveraging the data and feedback produced as a result of the process to take action using other funding and implementation avenues.

This effort is being coordinated with numerous other water management, water quality, environmental restoration, and other climate resilience initiatives being led by various local, state and federal entities.

To view past public meeting recordings, presentations and other background information on the study, visit the USACE website for the study.