MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County-led $49.2 million project to cleanup Hurricane Irma marine debris has passed the halfway point with the completion of 91 of the approved 172 canals (53 percent).
The project is on schedule to meet the 220-day grant deadline that ends March 21, 2019. The project also is well within the marine debris clearing budget, with only $11.9 of the available $45.8 million used to date in unincorporated Monroe County, Islamorada and Marathon. The remaining $3.3 million funding of the $49.2 million project grant is being used for monitoring services.
The project is funded with an Emergency Watershed Protection program grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The USDA’s NRCS also is the entity that approves which canals can receive the grant funding.
Nine crews have been working in six geographical parts of the Keys called Damage Survey Report (DSR) areas. The hurricane marine debris is being taken to nearby debris management sites before being hauled to Homestead for proper disposal.
For up-to-date information on the cleanup, including a master schedule of the work and the new list of canals approved for this project, go to monroecounty-fl.gov/irmacanalcleanup. The master schedule should be viewed on a computer due to the amount of information.
The project is divided as follows: $35.2 million for unincorporated Monroe County, $7.5 million for Marathon and $6.5 million for Islamorada.
Tavernier-based Adventure Environmental was hired by the County to lead the cleanup. Adventure Environmental and subcontractor Arnolds Towing of Stock Island have a combined workforce of about 60 people committed to the project using four grapple trucks, five sonar boats and 15 barges specifically built to perform in the Keys environment with minimal impact. Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. is monitoring the work.