Big Pine Key Canal cleanup
A Big Pine Key canal between Avenue D and E at sunrise. "It looks great," said photographer Libby Dean Lee of the cleanup. Many locals have taken cleaning up into their own hands.

MONROE COUNTY SUPPORTS COMMUNITY CLEANUPS WITH ADVANCE REQUEST

Monroe County welcomes groups that want to do community cleanups of areas that big equipment couldn’t reach following Hurricane Irma. Monroe County also wants to support these cleanup efforts.

If you are planning a community cleanup in unincorporated Monroe County and need Monroe County public works’ support for pickup of the collected debris or disposal at a County transfer station, please contact Monroe County Solid Waste at least a week in advance of the cleanup at 305-292-4536 to schedule.

Monroe County is proud of the community’s willingness and self-help attitude to support the Keys’ recovery. One local, Lenore Baker in the Lower Keys has been imperative to the local cleanups, read more about her here.

MONROE COUNTY SIGNS HURRICANE MARINE DEBRIS REMOVAL AGREEMENT WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; CLEANUP TO BEGIN SOON

Monroe County Mayor David Rice signed an agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday that states DEP will lead the hurricane marine debris removal effort of the impacted canals and nearshore waters of unincorporated Monroe County.

DEP will hire the contractor and oversee the $6 million operation. Monroe County staff will provide local coordination.

Temporary marine debris staging sites will be set up starting Wednesday, Feb. 7. It is anticipated that contracted boats will begin entering the water on Monday, Feb. 12, to begin the marine hurricane debris cleanup at various sites, including Big Pine Key.

DEP is funding the work that later will be reimbursed by the County. The County then will submit the invoices to FEMA for reimbursement to the County.

DEP and County staff began negotiating terms of the agreement shortly after Hurricane Irma struck. Rep. Holly Raschein helped to finalize the deal.

“We appreciate DEP’s effort to help Monroe County with the unprecedented marine debris cleanup of our canals and nearshore waters following Category 4 Hurricane Irma,” Rice said. “We are happy that this cleanup can begin soon.”

Signing debris removal
Photo by Lisa Tennyson. Monroe County Mayor David Rice signs a marine hurricane debris cleanup agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. (L-R) David A. Clark, DEP’s Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation Director, Division of State Land; Rice; Rep. Holly Raschein, Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi; Monroe County Attorney Bob Shillinger; and Alberto Moscoso, Director of Communications for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

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