Monroe County Debris Cleanup to Expand to 41 More Canals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has approved 41 more canals for the Monroe County-led $49.2 million project to cleanup Hurricane Irma marine debris.

This is in addition to the 103 most-impacted canals in the Keys that NRCS already had approved in the first phase.

In the first month of the project, more than 2,280 cubic yards of vegetative and construction/demolition debris have been removed from 23 canals.

The funding is from the NRCS’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program.

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. The first haul-out to the mainland will begin next week.

A total of $49.2 million is available under this grant ($45.9 million for marine clearing activities and $3.3 million for monitoring). It 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 that is scheduled to last 220 days. Adventure Environmental and subcontractor Arnolds Towing of Stock Island have a combined workforce of about 60 people committed to the project using 4 grapple trucks, 5 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.

For up-to-date information on the cleanup, including a master schedule of the work and the list of canals to date approved for this project, go to The master schedule should be viewed on a computer due to the amount of information.



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