Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi gives ‘thumbs up’ to the addition of proposed canal restoration comprehensive workplan amendments to the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern Work Program while he is in Tallahassee on Sept. 22. CONTRIBUTED

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi attended the State of Florida Administration Commission meeting in Tallahassee on Sept. 22 to represent Monroe County as the commission addressed the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern and considered approval of proposed rulemaking to adopt a Canal Restoration Comprehensive Work Program under the comprehensive plans for the local governments of Monroe County, the City of Marathon and the Village of Islamorada.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity presented rule modification items to the commission, which included removing completed tasks from the county’s work program and adding a new canal restoration component. Monroe County supports this addition and worked closely with DEO staff on the development of the rule language. The new work program for canal restoration implementation begins in December 2020 and lasts through 2030, and includes steps to develop and adopt guidelines for canal restoration selection, design and funding. The commission approved the rule language and authorized the DEO to file for final adoption after its required publication.  

“The Florida Keys economy depends on clean water,” said Gastesi. “Canal restoration projects improve nearshore water quality, habitat for marine life, and quality of life for the county’s residents.”

In addition to this meeting, Gastesi had other meetings planned while at the state’s capitol.

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