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Keys Add Another 28 Canals To List For Post-Irma Cleanup

Debris removed from a Key Largo canal. Another 28 canals in the Keys were recently approved for cleanup.
Wood Environment
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

It's been well over a year since Hurricane Irma struck, but in the Florida Keys some canals are still being added to the list for cleanup.

Monroe County announced Monday that an additional 28 canals, all in the Lower Keys, had been approved for debris removal. The $49.2 million project is funded mostly by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While removing the debris on land took months, cleaning the canals — a complicated and expensive process requiring contractors with special equipment and expertise — is taking even longer.

That brings the total number of canals approved for cleanup under the grant to 172. The debris removed so far includes a car, a minivan, appliances and construction material.

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Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.