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Posted on: March 29, 2022


Dane Eagle stands at lectern facing the Cabinet for presentation

Monroe County's designation as an Area of Critical State Concern was re-approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis at today's Cabinet meeting in Tallahassee. Dane Eagle, Secretary of the Florida Dept. of Economic Opportunity (DEO), presented progress in Monroe County's annual report, including completed tasks in the work program to the Cabinet. Monroe County's Legislative Affairs Director Lisa Tennyson and Planning and Environmental Resources Director Emily Schemper were on hand to answer any questions. 
The Areas of Critical State Concern Program was created by the Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act of 1972. The program is intended to protect resources and public facilities of major statewide significance, within designated geographic areas, from uncontrolled development that would cause substantial deterioration of such resources.
The current reporting year had 10 tasks for Monroe County to complete, and the County achieved all 10 of the tasks. Highlights of the report include canal restoration, water quality monitoring, wastewater connections, and hurricane evacuation strategies. 
"The report was excellent and covers our progress in our Area of Critical State Concern requirements, including our canal restoration master plan," said Schemper. "The Florida Keys Stewardship Act funding is critical to completing these important projects."
This year was the first year canal restoration tasks were included in the work plan. The plan identifies 195 canals countywide that need restoration, with 15 completed and 13 underway.
The revised work program for Monroe County includes 30 tasks to be completed by 2030, falling under four major topics: 
1. Carrying Capacity Study Implementation
2. Wastewater Implementation
3. Wastewater Project Implementation
4. Canal Restoration Implementation
"Receiving our ongoing Stewardship Act funding allows us to make this forward progress possible," said Monroe County Mayor David Rice. "We are grateful to the Governor, Cabinet, Legislature, and DEO for their support."
Pictured: At today's meeting in Tallahassee, Florida Dept. of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle presents Monroe County's Area of Critical State Concern annual report to Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet.

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