Monroe County Canal Cleanup Program Ahead of Schedule

The Monroe County-led $49.2 million project to cleanup Hurricane Irma marine debris is at 78 percent completion, with 134 of the 172 federally approved canals completed, the county said in its last week’s release. 

The project has used only $14.2 million (38%) of the available $45.8 million marine debris clearing budget for unincorporated Monroe County, Islamorada and Marathon. The remaining $4.2 million funding of the project grant is being used for monitoring services, the county said.

The project is funded with an Emergency Watershed Protection program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The project is totally funded with state and federal money,” Monroe County Sustainability Director Rhonda Haag said. “Not one cent of County money has been spent on this, with the exception of staff time.

The project is ahead of schedule to meet the 220-day grant deadline that ends March 21, 2019.

The County also has submitted 34 canals to NRCS for sediment approval and 18 of them – located in unincorporated Monroe County, Marathon and Islamorada – are currently being considered.

Marine debris cleanup of approved canals is completed in Islamorada and only one canal is left in Marathon. The work continues in unincorporated Monroe County.