Protecting the Environment

A Sustainable Port

PortMiami is surrounded by a natural environment that includes sea grass and marine life, along with a vibrant downtown with both commercial and residential neighborhoods. Our mission is to operate the State's top container port and world's leading cruise port in a way that supports sustainability.

PortMiami is committed to adopting policies that support sustainability and ensure earth-friendly operations. The Port's goal to provide sustainable services by carefully balancing environmental, social, and economic factors has led to its Green Ports program.

PortMiami is designated as a "clean port," and only handles containerized break bulk. Cargo shipments are limited to containerized and roll on/off cargo, representing little threat to Biscayne Bay and surrounding ecosystems.


PortMiami– Biscayne Bay and Beyond

PortMiami is committed to providing sustainable services by carefully balancing environmental, capital, and economic factors into our business planning. Our goal is to ensure a favorable workplace today, and a healthier environment tomorrow. We are achieving a sustainable balance with our customers, operations, and development while protecting our surrounding natural resources. Planning includes:

  • Working with local, state and federal agencies to obtain environmental permits for all in-water work and mitigation programs.
  • Designing infrastructure that evaluates potential sea level rise utilizing the Unified Sea Level Rise Projection presented in the 2019 Report by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.
  • Upgrading stormwater infrastructure to meet the stricter of the local and the state regulatory requirements for storm water quality and quantity, and manatee grates at the outfalls. Over 75 percent of the stormwater system on the Port have been upgraded since 2005.
  • Increasing marine inspections by conducting monthly waterside inspections of our outfalls and fenders.
  • Completed the Gantry Crane Electrification repower project which replaced diesel engines for all 9 cranes; since completion all new cranes are electric
  • Modernizing the TLM cargo container yard with infrastructure for electric rubber tired-gantries (eRTGs) to replace diesel cargo handling equipment and a more efficient security gate system to reduce the idling of trucks
  • Extending sanitary sewer lines:
    • In 2005, the Port eliminated all septic tanks by installing sanitary sewer lines extending across the Port.
    • In 2019, PortMiami replaced the sanitary sewer force main that crosses from the mainland to the island, under Biscayne Bay, and the main pump station to prevent groundwater contamination, including impacts from nutrient pollution, and surface water contamination and to preserve the public health.
    • Completing and certifying all As-Builts/Record Drawings by a Florida Professional Surveyor and Mapper qualified and registered to do work in Miami-Dade County.

PortMiami collaborates with the University of Miami on Coral Reef Research and Restoration.

PortMiami is proud to collaborate with UMiamiRSMAS on coral reef research and restoration programs. Some of the 150 corals recently collected at the Port by University of Miami researchers will be transplanted onto a reef in the Key Biscayne area.

The objective of the program is to enhance the reproductive success of the species that have declined in the last few years and to establish the first coral spawning hub in Miami-Dade County.

PortMiami enhances Biscayne Bay at a glance.

  • 1980s
    • Approximately 20 acres of mangrove restoration (over 6,000 new trees) for shoreline stabilization (rip rap and mangrove restoration) at FIU North Campus
    • Dinner Key Spoil island enhancement (total of 10 acres), including mangrove and hammock restoration.
  • 1990s
    • Two Wetland restoration project within the Biscayne National Park; (1) at Campbell Drive extension and (2) 800’ bayward from SW 196th Street to the Bay
  • 2000s
    • Oleta River State Park mangrove wetland restoration project restored over 42.5 acres and enhancement of approximately 20 acres of mangrove habitat
    • Creation of over 1.65 acres of artificial reef at the Biscayne Bay Julia Tuttle
    • 16.6 acres seagrass restoration north of the Julia Tuttle in Biscayne Bay
    • Virginia Key Dune & Coastal Hammock Restoration

Off-shore Mitigation Projects

  • 1990s
    • Creation of approximately 16 acres of artificial reefs (1) POM-A included 595 reef modules in about 25’ of water located just north of Government Cut and (2) POM-B included approximately 360,000 tons of boulders in about 45’ of water located just south of Government Cut
  • 2000s
    • Over 9 acres of off-shore artificial reef created south of Government Cut
    • Funding the outplant of approximately 10,000 Acropora (staghorn) coral colonies to natural reef systems both north and south of Government Cut through a grant with the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)
    • Relocated over 1,000 coral colonies to the natural reef system
    • Funded National Marine Fisheries Services to collect tissue from 160 Acropora corals from the Second (Middle) Reef to create 1,059 fragments that are being maintained at the RSMAS


Energy Savings

In 2012, the Port completed three major re-roofing projects, installing white, reflective roofing material geared toward reducing energy usage at the Port by 20 percent, in line with the Green and Sustainability Initiative. Energy-efficient practices maintained throughout PortMiami include:

  • Replacement of major A/C systems with Energy-Star rated systems
  • Installation of motion sensor controlled lights (turning off lights when rooms are vacant)
  • Reduction of water consumption through the installation of low-flow water usage plumbing fixtures
  • Utilization of recycled materials


Emissions Control

A series of emission reduction initiatives has been accomplished at the Port, ranging from the completion of the Cargo Gantry Crane Electrification project, to the installation of new electronic security gates - which reduce truck idling times - to using B-5 biodiesel fuel with a sulfur content of 15 parts per million -- well ahead of EPA's mandate. Through federal grants and in conjunction with our Port Partners, this program continues to reduce air and diesel emissions associated with cargo equipment and day-to-day operations.



In 2012, PortMiami relocated over 175 corals to the designated Coral Habitat Area located on the northeast corner of the Port. This is the third successful coral relocation project conducted by the Port. The monitoring of more than 40 acres of mangrove restoration at Oleta River State Park -- an ideal habitat for birds and aquatic species -- continues with a 100 percent success rate. PortMiami closely coordinates construction work at the Port to ensure trees are relocated (including over 150 trees from the Tunnel Project) to beautify the environment for our visitors and residents, and provide cooling shade, stormwater retention, and carbon sequestration.


LEED Certification

New structures are certified to at least the "Silver Level" under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, and all building interior and exterior rehabilitation work includes "LEED" elements per the Port's newly established design guidelines.