The first of the 10-canal Hurricane Irma sediment removal projects in the Florida Keys are underway, reports the Monroe County.
Tavernier-based Adventure Environmental, Inc. began the sediment removal project in three Marathon canals.
The two Islamorada canal projects are also on the way and the five Big Pine Key canals are waiting for final permit authorizations.
The activities include mobilizing barges topped with containers, setting up erosion and sediment control areas with turbidity barriers, and staging areas with hay bales to safely remove the sediment from the area.
The contractor is also using of a long reach excavator mounted on a barge with a roll off container for initial dewatering of the sediment.
The project is being funded by an Emergency Watershed Protection grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
“The County is working diligently with NRCS and permit agencies to assist the County in recovering from the damage sustained within the canals throughout the Florida Keys through the debris and sediment removal activities,” said Rhonda Haag, Monroe County Director of Sustainability, who oversees the project.
These sediment removal projects fall under the initial Hurricane Irma Marine Debris Removal clearing project that has a $45.8 million budget. To date, $21 million has been spent.