During the first week of removal work on the Monroe County-led $49.2 million project to cleanup Hurricane Irma marine debris, more than 700 cubic yards of vegetative and construction/demolition debris have been removed from 11 canals.
The project encompasses 103 of the remaining worst-impacted canals throughout the Keys. Nine crews have been working in six areas of the Keys. Four canals have been completed – two on Big Pine Key, one in Marathon and one in Islamorada.
The hurricane marine debris is being taken to nearby debris management sites before being hauled to the mainland for proper disposal.
For up-to-date information on the cleanup, for a list of the 103 canals covered by this project and for the tentative master schedule for the project, go to www.monroecounty-fl.gov/irmacanalcleanup. The master schedule should be viewed on a computer due to the amount of information.
Funding for the cleanup was obtained from the Emergency Watershed Protection Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. 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 is monitoring the work.