FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 15, 2012
NAS Key West Airfield Environmental Mitigation Project Update
Naval Air Station Key West's Public Works Department has commenced work on the Geiger Key portion of the installation's airfield mitigation project.
This mitigation offsets the wetland impacts associated with the airfield restoration project. The restoration project consists of trimming and removal of vegetation in order to restore unobstructed airspace and to provide safe ground movement of aircraft to meet airfield safety criteria, while preserving and protecting the environment.
The mitigation also includes improvements to the stormwater drainage systems at Boca Chica Field, as well as the proposed planting of high salt marsh vegetation in select areas to provide habitat for the state and federally endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri).
Approximately 900 acres of wetlands and surface waters will be restored and enhanced across seven sites located on Boca Chica Field, Geiger Key, Rockland Key and Big Coppitt Key, all within NAS Key West property lines. Enhancing and restoring the wetlands and surface waters of these properties will include removal of invasive species and individual mangrove removal to foster a healthier mangrove environment.
NAS Key West received all required permits including those from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Project costs for both airfield restoration and mitigation are $50 million and the project is expected to be complete by 2014.
For more information contact Naval Air Station Key West Public Affairs at (305) 293-2027.
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