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Posted on: May 15, 2020

DEVELOPMENT OF PROPOSED NEW AND RENEWED RULES FOR 10-YEAR WORK PLAN

Heather Carruthers speaks in Tallahassee about the draft rule canal restoration

The Florida Administration Commission authorized the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to initiate rulemaking for a revised Work Plan for Monroe County. DEO is also working on updated Work Plans for Islamorada and Marathon.

The new Work Plan for unincorporated Monroe County will:

  • Remove some completed tasks
  • Revises requirement to adopt the Tier Maps into the Comprehensive Plan to prior to the County adopting a resolution recommending the removal of the Area of Critical State Concern designation
  • Maintains the task to annually apply for land acquisition funding and reporting on land acquisition efforts
  • Maintains the tasks requiring completion of remaining wastewater connections, and
  • Creates a new Work Program for Canal Restoration Implementation beginning in October 2020 through the year 2030 which includes:
    • Updating the 2013 Canal Management Master Plan
    • Development and adoption of guidelines to select canals for restoration
    • Identification and evaluation of potential funding sources for canal restoration
    • Required application for funding annually
    • The annual allocation of funding for canal restoration
    • Review of alternative solutions for large seagrass and organic material from nearshore waters,
    • Analysis of the effectiveness of restoration projects completed
    • Water quality monitoring reports, and
    • Federal and State agency reporting on strategies to improve efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, and long-term maintenance of restored canals

The public can review and comment on the Monroe County Proposed Rule 28-20.140 for unincorporated Monroe County, and proposed rules for the City of Marathon (Rule 28-18.400), and the Village of Islamorada (28-19.310) through June 1, 2020. To review the Florida Administration Commission published Notice of Development of Proposed Rules, visit www.flrules.org/Faw/FAWDocuments/FAWVOLUMEFOLDERS2020/4691/4691doc.pdf. To comment, visit www.flrules.org. The Department of State allows users to submit official comments on proposed rules by creating a “MyFLRules” account.

“We consider canal restoration to be the third leg of our efforts to improve water quality in the Keys,” said Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers. “We have completed wastewater, are in the process of completing stormwater, and now canal restoration will help protect our $1.3 billion fishing and tourism economy and enhance the quality of life of our residents.”

Photo Caption: Mayor Heather Carruthers speaks to the Governor and Administration Commission at the February 4, 2020 cabinet meeting in Tallahassee. Draft rule language was presented by DEO and the County was recognized for completing all the annual work plan tasks.