Canal Restoration

The new plan ranks 96 canals in unincorporated Monroe County with poor or fair water quality ratings that do not meet minimum state standards for water quality. Governor Desantis’ office proposed the work program to help provide accountability in implementing canal restoration projects.  The newly adopted Administration Commission Rule 28-20.140, F.A.C., amends the County Comprehensive Plan to include a 10-year Canal Restoration Implementation work program. Like other tasks in the County’s work program, lack of progress on the new canal restoration tasks will reduce 20 percent of the County’s Rate of Growth Ordinance (ROGO) allocations.

The County is under a deadline to formalize the canal selection and ranking criteria by June of this year to include it in the County’s update to the State. The selection criteria may be modified as more canal information becomes available. The selection criteria include various environmental factors such as the amount of dissolved oxygen in canals, nutrient accumulation, depth of canals, the connectivity to nearshore waters, and the number of parcels along the canal. It also uses a second set of financial criteria to rank canals to take the best advantage of the County’s limited financial resources.  

Canal remediation techniques include organic removal, backfilling, culverts, weed gates, and gravity-fed injection wells to improve dissolved oxygen and the overall water quality of the canals. The technologies were tested in several pilot projects within the County, Marathon, and Islamorada. 

Public comment was accepted on the Guidance Document and selection criteria through May 12, 2021. The final set of criteria will be submitted for approval at the regularly scheduled June 16 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

  1. Rhonda Haag headshot

    Rhonda Haag

    Chief Resilience Officer
    Phone: 305-453-8774

  2. Sustainability

    Physical Address
    102050 Overseas Highway
    Key Largo, FL 33037

    Phone: 305-453-8774


The Monroe County BOCC approved a series of canal restoration demonstration projects. The results will be used to further define restoration costs and for information in future grant applications to state and federal sources.

The Canal Advisory Committee meetings are noticed in the Florida Administrative Register (FAR).