FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2014
REMOVAL OF ABANDONED STRUCTURES IMPROVES WATER QUALITY IN KEY LARGO
The two unauthorized structures pictured above were removed from north Key Largo.
KEY LARGO – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection continues to improve water quality across the state. A unified effort between several state
agencies led to the removal of two abandoned structures along Card Sound Road
in north Key Largo. Removal of the two structures will help restore
natural resources on part of the state’s sovereignty submerged lands and improve
water quality in this waterway.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s South
District and the Division of State Lands worked with Monroe County, the Florida
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and other agencies to address
the structures, which were constructed on sovereignty submerged lands without
authorization or permits.
"Proper authorization for structures on state lands and in Florida waterways is important to ensure the protection and preservation of public lands," said Kelley Boree, director of DEP's Division of State Lands. "We appreciate the collaboration from our state and local partners that led to the successful restoration of this area to its natural condition."
The upland portion of the shoreline in the Card Sound Road
area is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, but managed by Monroe
County. The submerged lands are owned by the state and managed by the Division
of State Lands as directed by the Board of Trustees, which is comprised of the
Governor and Florida Cabinet.
Representatives from all agencies involved worked together
to remove the structures, which were determined to be abandoned. FWC assisted the department in targeting the structures for removal. DEP notified the
individuals who were using the structures by certified mail, and notices were
posted by FWC Law Enforcement in accordance with section 705.103 of the Florida
When no one came forward to claim the structures, DEP retained a contractor to remove them in a safe manner. DEP partnered with Monroe County to reduce the cost
of waste disposal for the project. Monroe County agreed to waive tipping fees
at the transfer station for disposal of the debris and waste materials.
"The collaboration between several state agencies and the county is an example of how governments should work," said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi.
This project, which was completed on June 6, highlights the importance of partnerships between state and local agencies.