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Monroe County Canal Restoration Contact

The Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP) Action Plan (Item W.10) of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary identifies impaired water quality in residential canals as a priority for corrective action. Many of the residential canals in the Keys do not meet the State's water quality standards and are a source of nutrients and other pollutants to near shore waters. Water quality problems in residential canals include land-based discharges of inadequately treated wastewater and stormwater, poor tidal circulation or flushing and accumulation of organic debris, such as dead seaweed and flotsam, leading to elevated levels of nutrients, fecal bacteria and biochemical oxygen demand. Improvements in wastewater treatment and stormwater management practices are currently being implemented in many areas of the Keys. These improvements are an essential first step, but will not fix all the water quality problems existing in canals. Although many of these problems are linked to wastewater and stormwater discharges, others are caused by the physical structure, depth, and orientation of these canals.

In order to address this issue, the WQPP Steering Committee created the Canal Restoration Advisory Subcommittee (Subcommittee) and tasked this group to develop cost-effective and feasible strategies to improve water quality in residential canals. Recognizing the importance of improving water quality, Monroe County secured $5 million and Islamorada, Village of Islands secured $100,000 to fund canal restoration projects. The Subcommittee is currently working with the County's consultant, AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc., to complete a canal management master plan and to select several canal restoration demonstration projects. Some of the remedial actions being considered, such as installation of seaweed gates and air curtains, construction of culverts, removal of accumulated organics from the bottom of the canals, backfilling to remove deep stagnant zones, and pumping to enhance circulation will require authorization or permits from federal and state agencies with jurisdiction.

Here is the link to the Monroe County website that contains the information for the ongoing canal water quality restoration program for the Florida Keys' Water Quality Protection Program (WQPP):  http://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/index.aspx?NID=598





Gus Rios

Program Administrator

(305) 289-7081


Jon Iglehart

South District Director

(239) 344-5651









Last updated: October 12, 2016
  South District, 2295 Victoria Avenue, Fort Myers, Florida 33901 239-344-5600 / 850-412-0590(fax) / SouthDistrict@dep.state.fl.us
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